University of Huddersfield staff willing to take industrial action over planned redundancies, warns UNISON

Workers at the University of Huddersfield are prepared to take industrial action including strikes over plans for almost 200 compulsory staff redundancies, UNISON says today (Monday).

A survey carried out by the union found nine in ten university employees belonging to UNISON would support some form of action if there are no meaningful negotiations.

The university confirmed its plans to cut 198 jobs last month. UNISON believes such large scale cuts would have a negative impact on both staff and students.

UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside regional organiser Vikki Garratty said: “The strength of feeling among staff is clear.

“They’re not willing to accept the university simply cutting away more than a tenth of its workforce without exploring other alternatives.

“It’s time for university managers to get round the table with UNISON and other unions to seek an alternative without such a drastic impact on both staff and students.”

UNISON University of Huddersfield branch secretary Steve Howe said: “University staff are passionate about the jobs they do, and making sure students have the best experience possible.

“It’s encouraging to see staff are willing to challenge these proposed cuts, given the significant impact on the students, as well as themselves and their colleagues.

“Managers must look at other options.”

Students at the University of Huddersfield have organised a rally to protest against the cuts and support staff, on Thursday (23 May.

University of Huddersfield second year English Literature student Ellie Croot, who organised the rally, said: “The cuts being proposed by the university will completely change how so many courses operate – if they are even able to continue to run.

“This protest is a way for students to show university managers that we don’t agree with what they’re planning, and to stand in solidarity with the staff who make our university experience as positive as possible.”

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