Failure to issue formal notice of consultation and engage union leaves staff to consider industrial action ballot
September 10th: Unite Regional Officer, Sean Smyth, raised concerns over the lack of clarity over the scale of job losses and faculty closures in the University of Ulster:
“While the blame for this situation lies squarely with the NI Executive who slashed this year’s funding by £8.6 million leaving management with no choice but to implement devastating closures and large-scale redundancies, the manner in which University of Ulster management has sought to roll-out the cuts is causing mounting concern among their workforce.
“Given the scale of job-losses, there is a legal requirement for management to issue a formal notice of consultation providing a business case of their plans. Despite our repeated requests, they have failed to provide this or to formally engage with staff or Unite representatives. Workers have been left in the dark over just how many jobs will be lost and the impact on the various faculties within the university.
“We are particularly concerned that plans for closure go way beyond those identified by the University in its public communications. For example, workers at the Psychology Department at the Magee campus were told that their unit will close at the cost of 14.5 redundancies.
“This is just one example of many cuts in posts across campuses and faculties where there has been a lack of information and transparency from management. Such closures make nonsense of commitments from political representatives that there would be no compulsory redundancies.
“Unite will be meeting our membership across the campuses to discuss our response; in particular, the option of balloting for industrial action to demand that management come clean on their plans”, Mr Smyth concluded.