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Liverpool Hope exam timetable at risk as university rejects union’s restructure proposals

15 April 2011

Further industrial action looks on the cards at Liverpool Hope University after the university rejected proposals from UCU for a more measured approach to significant funding changes.

UCU said today that it was disappointed that the university had rejected the union’s proposals to stagger staffing changes in its teacher education provision and that industrial action that could disrupt students’ exams was being seriously considered by its members at Liverpool Hope University.
 
The union says that the institution is reacting too quickly to changes to how teacher training will be funded in the future. The changes to move a lot of teacher training from universities to schools will not take place until 2012/13 and the union had set out plans to stagger voluntary redundancy packages and staff leaving.
 
UCU says that although the university will lose some funding from the Training and Development Agency (TDA) this year, it should not rush ahead with widespread job cuts that could damage the reputation of the institution and quality of the teaching it offers. The university will only find out in June what level of tuition fee it can charge students for the 2012/13 academic year.
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘The union is not blind to the difficulties faced by Liverpool Hope. Liverpool Hope is not the only university facing these challenges, but it is the only one moving at this pace to try and sack staff. We put forward sensible counter proposals that would allow the university to properly manage changes that are not due until the 2012/13 academic year.
 
‘We want to see a sensible resolution to this dispute, but we simply do not accept that the university has to move at this pace, or that it is in the interests of staff, students or the university’s reputation. That is why UCU members at Liverpool Hope are prepared to take further industrial action if the university refuses to reconsider.’

Strike date announced at Liverpool Hope University

From UCU website on 1 April 2011

Members of UCU at Liverpool Hope will take strike action next Friday (8 April) in their ongoing row over job losses and the institution’s response to cuts in funding.

The union said it was disappointed and frustrated that the university had ignored the advice of the arbitration service, ACAS, and refused the union’s request to extend the timetable during which staff could go on strike, which would have allowed more time to try and reach a resolution without strike action.

The union said it did not understand the university’s ‘put up or shut up’ threat to its staff at a time when tensions are running high. The news of strike action comes just a week after it was revealed that the vice-chancellor, Professor Gerald Pillay, received a pay increase of 21% to take his salary up £199,077 last year. More on that story can be found here.

UCU said that it is committed to continue talks in an effort to avoid compulsory redundancies and avoid strike action, but reiterated today that any strike action will be the fault of the university for refusing the union’s olive branch.

Trade union legislation requires unions to take action within 28 days of a strike ballot result, but employers have the power to extend this window to allow talks to continue; something Liverpool Hope refused to agree to.

Over 90 jobs are at risk at Liverpool Hope and UCU says the university is acting prematurely in making hasty and deep cuts that go beyond the government’s funding reductions for universities.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘We fail to understand why the university has essentially asked union members to put up or shut up when it comes to strike action. Anyone looking for a peaceful resolution to this dispute would have extended the window and sought to avoid industrial action.

‘Had the university agreed to UCU’s request to extend the window for potential industrial action we could have focused on trying to resolve the dispute. By refusing the union’s olive branch they have left members at Liverpool Hope who value their jobs and the university’s long-term reputation with little choice but to take strike action. We appeal to the university to see sense and reconsider their position.

‘UCU members at Liverpool Hope have made it crystal clear that they have no faith in how the university is handling the funding problems that have beset the higher education sector. They do not think the university should be swinging the axe on jobs so hastily and will be out on strike to make that point and defend their jobs next week’.

Liverpool Hope University boss slammed for 20% wage rise as 100 staff prepare to lose jobs

TAKEN FROM THE LIVERPOOL ECHO

THE boss of a Liverpool university set to slash 100 jobs has seen his six-figure salary increase by more than 20% in a year.

Figures showed Liverpool Hope university Vice Chancellor Professor Gerald Pillay’s wage rocketed in 2009-10 by almost 21%, to £199,077.

Today, union chiefs fighting to retain lecturers’ jobs branded the wage rise as “astonishing” and said it made a mockery of the university’s claim to be prudent.

But Hope officials insisted the rise brought his wages in line with the going rate, adding Prof Pillay donated “a significant proportion” of his pay packet in 2009 and 2010 to scholarship funds.

The row came as Liverpool Hope university staff joined a national University and College Union day of strike action yesterday over pay and pension changes.

Hope university is looking to make 100 redundancies across the board, affecting both academic staff and administrative employees.

The university has stressed the job cuts were part of “efficiency savings” in tough economic times.

UK-wide strikes in colleges and universities over pensions, pay and jobs on 24 March

Members of UCU at colleges and universities across the UK will be on strike on Thursday 24 March in a row over changes to pension schemes, jobs losses and pay cuts.

The first national strike in higher education for five years and the first in further education since 2008 will deliver the first joint action across the post-16 education sector by the union.
 
Strike action will kick off in Scottish universities on Thursday (17 March) as members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) take action in defence of their pensions. There will then be days of strike action in Wales on Friday 18 March, in Northern Ireland on Monday 21 March and England on Tuesday 22 March, ahead of the UK-wide action over pensions, jobs and pay on Thursday 24 March; two days before the TUC’s central London ‘March for the alternative’.
 
UCU members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are striking against proposals to reduce pension benefits and increase costs, even though the scheme is in robust health. More information on the dispute can be found at: USS changes – key questions
 
UCU members of the TPS scheme voted for strike action against proposals to raise contributions from scheme members and increase the pension age. More information on that dispute can be found at: Under Attack – Teachers’ Pension
 
UCU members in both further and higher education voted for strike action to defend their pay and members in higher education to call for job security. More on that dispute can be found at: www.ucu.org.uk/actionbriefing
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘Staff at colleges and universities across the UK will be out on strike on Thursday 24 March in an unprecedented level of action across the further and higher education sectors. The attacks on staff’s pensions, pay and job security have created real anger throughout the sector and instead of burying their heads in the sand the employers need to respond urgently to UCU’s attempts to negotiate.’

Overwhelmingly backing for strike action at Liverpool Hope University in jobs row

11 March 2011

Lecturers who are members of UCU at Liverpool Hope University have today voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in their ongoing row with the institution over job losses and how the institution is responding to potential cuts in funding.

Over four-fifths (83%) of UCU members at Liverpool Hope who voted, voted for strike action. The union is now considering its next options, including strike dates which could be announced shortly unless the university rethinks its approach to its hasty restructuring plans.
 
Over 100 jobs are at risk and the union says the university should follow the lead of the vast majority of institutions in the country, and take a measured approach to future challenges. UCU says the university is rushing in to decisions based on funding assumptions that have been made without the full knowledge of future circumstances.
 
The union says that, instead of pushing ahead with plans to axe jobs, the university should listen to, and work with, its staff. UCU members in departments at the university have been drawing up alternative plans to deal with the difficulties the higher education sector and Liverpool Hope face.
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘UCU members at Liverpool Hope have made it crystal clear today that they have no faith in how the university is handling the funding problems that have beset the higher education sector. They do not think the university should be swinging the axe and chopping jobs and will be out on strike to make that point and defend their jobs if the university refuses to listen to them.’
 
UCU members at Liverpool University and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine will be strike on Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 March in a row about pensions. More on that dispute can be found at: First strikes over pensions look likely this month as employers refuse to talk

Any Questions?

Dear Colleagues,

Radio 4’s Any Questions? is to be held at Hope’s Creative Campus (Everton).

Free tickets are available for the evening of Fri 18 March.

Look on Hope’s events calendar or see below: 

Call 3578 for tickets. I’ve got mine! Let’s get lots of UCU members there.  Do forward this to anyone you think will be interested. 
 
 

Petition

Sign the Liverpool Hope UCU petition here…..

https://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5342

Local MP to visit Liverpool Hope University as confusion reigns over future funding

Liverpool Wavertree MP, Luciana Berger, will meet members of UCU at Liverpool Hope University this lunchtime as confusion reigns over the future of the beleaguered institution.

The university announced this week that it would not be following the example of Oxford and Cambridge and charging the full £9,000 a year fees. However, it did not state what level of fee it would be charging or how much money it expected to generate from fees.
 
Despite not knowing what is happening with fees, or what its teaching grant will be, or what the outcome of the government’s proposals on the future of teaching training will be, the university has announced plans to axe at least 100 jobs.
 
The union says it understands the vice-chancellor’s wishes to try and keep university education affordable, but warns that trying to cut other universities on price and quality will backfire. The union says the university should not rush in to decisions without the full knowledge of future circumstances.
 
On Monday, as part of its campaign to halt the job losses, the union started a ballot of its members at Liverpool Hope for strike action and action short of strike. The result of that ballot is expected on Friday 11 March.
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘Liverpool Hope’s strategy of trying to undercut universities on both price and by cutting staff will backfire. Students want to be taught by highly-qualified, decently-rewarded staff in sufficient numbers to make the educational experience worth having. A race to the bottom of the type envisaged by LHU will be a disaster for everyone. It makes absolutely no sense to be axing jobs when we are still waiting for all the facts.
 
‘UCU members have asked to be balloted  because they are prepared to use every tool they possess to halt the university’s destructive and ill-thought through plans. However, strike action always remains a last resort.’

Staff balloted for strike action at Liverpool Hope University in jobs row

Local MP says cuts to city’s universities will affect everyone

Staff at Liverpool Hope University are today being balloted for strike action in a row over job losses and how the institution is responding to potential cuts in funding. UCU says the university is rushing in to decisions based on funding assumptions made without the full knowledge of future circumstances.
 
Over 100 jobs are now at risk and local MP Luciana Berger is coming to Liverpool Hope to speak to UCU members about the plans on Wednesday. UCU says the university should follow the lead of the vast majority of institutions in the country, and take a less panicked approach to future challenges.
 
The union says axing jobs before the university knows what its teaching grant will be, what the outcome of the government’s proposals on the future of teaching training will be, or what level of income it will receive from tuition fees makes no sense and risks serious long-term damage to Liverpool Hope.
 
MP for Liverpool Wavertree, Luciana Berger, said: ‘This situation has been created by the Tory-led Government and is, as we saw from the march in Liverpool yesterday, going to affect everyone.  Our higher education sector here in Liverpool is one of the worst-hit and Liverpool Hope University, a vital resource for our city, is having to make life-saving choices.
 
‘I call on the university to be sensitive to the needs of their staff, and support UCU in representing their members who are rightly worried about their jobs. Ultimately we must remember that it is the Government’s actions which will handicap our young people and their futures.’
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘The university does not have the full facts and is simply not making decisions based on evidence. There is no need to rush through sweeping and potentially damaging changes so prematurely.
 
‘UCU members have asked to be balloted now because they are prepared to use every tool they possess to halt the university’s destructive and ill-thought through plans. However, strike action always remain a last resort.’

26 March – March for the alternative

The TUC’s March for the Alternative will demonstrate the depth and breadth of opposition to the governments deep and rapid spending cuts.

It will bring together those who deliver public services under threat together with those who use them, those whose private sector jobs are threatened by the depressed economy and those who are simply angry at the damage that the cuts are doing to our society.

The TUC march gives everyone involved in opposing cuts the opportunity to come together in a single national moment to share their rejection of the government’s argument that there is no alternative.

http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/