No confidence in A&H Divisional Leadership

In the first 24hrs alone, well over a hundred staff supported the statement of no confidence in the Arts & Humanities Divisional Leadership (see email for link). The leadership *went on annual leave* for a quarter of the formal “consultation period”, after which their colleagues can be made compulsorily redundant. This is emblematic of the whole process.

During collective consultation, there has been a refusal to listen to staff and consider actual data compiled by affected colleagues. This is putting staff mental health and wellbeing at unnecessary additional risk.

Since the review of Arts and Humanities began in September, the Divisional leadership have refused to share even basic information about Divisional finances. UCU have had to resort to FOI requests for financial information, when the ‘redundancy avoidance agreement’ signed by UCU and the university stipulates that:

‘The University agrees to reasonable disclosure of the necessary information to enable an informed dialogue, including reasonable disclosure of all necessary financial information.’

Essential questions have been left unanswered:

  1. What is the rationale for the proportion of cuts across the Division? Why have some subject areas (e.g. CLAS) been tasked with higher savings despite being up by 86% in UG recruitment on last year. UCU have repeatedly asked for the modelling, which has been denied. What are they hiding?
  2. Why has QR (REF) income not been included in the calculations, when the business case stipulates ‘total income’ and not onlytuition fee income?
  3. Why were UCU and staff reps not given the business case until 14th June, despite being in formal consultation over the new structure of the Division back in February, when an S188 was issued? This total lack of transparency made it impossible for redundancy avoidance to take place meaningfully, as required.
  4. Why do the Divisional leadership refuse to recalculate the target ‘cost savings’ based on actual data – such as actualstaff costs, QR income and firm UG students for September 2023?

It is clear the compulsory redundancy process in A&H has been chaotic, used outdated and unreliable data, and is relying on pressuring staff to take voluntary redundancy. There was even an admittance as part of collective consultation that if the cuts are too big, they can always rehire more staff after making colleagues redundant!