UCU threaten strike action next week at University of Lincoln after 220 staff jobs at risk

The university previously announced its plans to reduce its budget for 2024/25 by 20 per cent, including making staff cuts

Staff members at the University of Lincoln are prepared to take strike action from Monday 22nd April over potential redundancies.

The university previously announced its plans to reduce its budget for 2024/25 by 20 per cent, following rising costs, including making key academic staff redundant. Now, UCU shared that the jobs of 220 employees are at risk, including one in 10 academic staff

The University and College Union (UCU) declared on Thursday that talks about a walkout are already being made.

The fashion degree along with the specialised support for students in the foundation studies centre are two major academic and support areas that will be affected by the planned reductions.

According to the union, the proposed cuts have caused significant agitation among the staff, and on April 10th, more than 150 people attended an emergency meeting of the Lincoln UCU branch to express their dissatisfaction.

The university, having just recently been awarded the highest national honour in UK higher and further education, for its sustainability efforts in the UK’s farming industry, had announced in January that it was under financial pressure: “Given this challenging external environment, with rising costs and declining real terms income, we are looking to take pragmatic steps to reduce our cost base.”

Members of UCU have voted to start an industrial dispute in protest of the cuts, and are now calling on the the university management to revoke any plans for redundancies in order to avoid any more disturbances on campus.

UCU Lincoln acting chair, Dr Rob Dean spoke of the impacts of these potential redundancies. He said: “It is simply impossible to slash so many jobs without severely impacting current students, future students and diminishing the university’s vital role as a cornerstone of regional education.

“The local economy will also be affected. In a small city like Lincoln the number of proposed cuts threaten to undermine the socioeconomic fabric of the region, exacerbating existing challenges and inequalities.”

A spokesperson for the University of Lincoln stated: “The University of Lincoln is not immune to these headwinds and we are having to take steps to reduce our base budgets in 2024/25 in the face of rising costs and stalling real-terms income.”

“The university opened a voluntary severance scheme and will be launching a voluntary redundancy scheme as part of the ongoing effort to reduce costs amid these growing pressures facing the UK higher education sector.”

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