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Action to defend FLC jobs and courses – have your say here

At a well attended branch meeting on July 6, there was clear concern expressed over both the threat to dismiss 18 staff in the Foreign Languages Centre. The dismissals arise from a proposal to cut 20% of FLC provision, including 3 languages and all the higher level courses more information

At the branch meeting members expressed their overwhelming opposition to the dismissals and to the proposed cuts to the FLC.

UCU submitted a response to the University managers opposing the dismissals and calling for the proposed changes to the FLC to be postponed for 12 months to allow for wider consultation with students, staff and the public about the future of the FLC. We presented a petition to University Council signed by 2600 people calling on the University to expand rather than cut its foreign languages teaching.

Your UCU negotiators have been successful in achieving an extension to the consultation process and in pressing the University to disclose that it will save about £60,000 through these changes.

However, despite our efforts, the University managers have confirmed that they are going ahead with the plan to issue dismissal notices the 18 staff on 8th August. We have written to the Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell requesting a meeting, but have been told that the consultation is now closed. We have now registered a formal notice of ‘failure to agree’ with the University and are using an agreed procedure to try to resolve the matter.

We need your support in this. We will continue to seek to resolve this matter through negotiation but we are entering those negotiations with the threat of compulsory redundancies still hanging over our members.

Your branch committee strongly recommends that you take part in this indicative ballot and votes YES to all three questions.

Please note that this indicative ballot is NOT a formal ballot for industrial action – it is intended to give your UCU negotiators a clear picture of the strength of feeling across the membership prior to any approval from the UCU National Executive Committee being sought for a formal ballot for industrial action.

It is important to be clear that the redundancies faced by staff in the FLC are a result of choices that University management have themselves made. Money has been spent on massive building projects, and on consultants. The University made a surplus of £17 million last year. And there’s no reason to think that there won’t be more redundancies next year.

If compulsory redundancy notices are issued to FLC staff, branch officers should make preparations for a ballot of all members for industrial action. NB Please do not vote ‘YES’ for this unless you are prepared to vote ‘YES’ for 2 and 3 below. [YES / NO]
Are you prepared to take strike action in defence of your colleagues in the Foreign Languages Centre? [YES / NO]
Are you prepared to take action short of a strike in defence of your colleagues in the Foreign Languages Centre? [YES / NO]

To vote, go to where you will need to authenticate with the normal University Single Sign-On service. The time you vote is recorded, but the vote is anonymous – only a tally of the total votes is kept. If you have any difficulty with the on-line voting system please contact Tim Barrett.

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