Kent UCU win – Arts and Humanities

No A&H CRs this academic year

  • Senior management will not be making any compulsory redundancies of academics in A&H this academic year.
  • While senior management recently ripped up a deal on this issue, because they have made their intended cuts this year by other means, it is likely they will try to regain some credibility by honouring their commitment this time.
  • Members won several cases of redeployment instead of compulsory redundancy, which would not have been possible without your mobilisation.
  • A&H staff have won time to recruit and retain students and make jobs more secure, in the broken marketised system.


How you won this  

  • You voted to ballot for strike action in October 2022.
  • You supported no confidence motions in the A&H divisional leadership.
  • You beat the ‘50% turnout’ threshold in a formal industrial action ballot in May 2023.
  • You elected another nation-leading committee & set of negotiators.
  • You made every second of the A&H CR process as difficult as possible for senior management, including through forensic 1:1 casework and explosive open meetings.
  • You mobilised 14,000 colleagues across the sector in a public petition
  • You built upon your record as a branch, by balloting and winning ‘no compulsory redundancies’ every year since 2020


Limitations to this win

  • Because senior management ripped up their agreement, anyone who took voluntary redundancy is likely to have felt undue pressure to leave, due to the CR threat.
  • Senior management hope to continue cutting A&H next academic year and the year after. Their commitment of no CRs during these years of ‘review’ is still void.
  • A number of Professional Services members are still currently at risk of compulsory redundancy.
  • Senior management have caused unacceptable damage to the health, safety and wellbeing of their colleagues through an unfair and unworkable compulsory redundancy process.
  • Richard Reece and the senior managers responsible for the student retention crisis and Kent Vision IT catastrophe have not faced any consequences. Instead they continue to try to balance the books by pursuing redundancies.


What next?

  • We have a six-month industrial action mandate to apply pressure at strategic moments to defend jobs.
  • The lesson of the A&H CR process is this: if you want to stay at Kent and you are willing to defend yourself through your union, it is very difficult for senior management to make you redundant.