26 October 2020

Situation in University and School

Some two weeks ago, the University dropped the bomb. A bomb in the shape of a document in which they explained how they intended to lose between 150 and 200 FTE. My school needs to lose some! And we're not the only ones; on the contrary, most schools do. And no schools are enjoying that. Neither is the union. And there is a consultation process happening, but not everybody is convinced that this is performed properly. The University and College Union has consulted its members, and it looks like the membership isn't impressed. And the result is that you can now find in the news the fact that the union membership has voted for a motion of no confidence in the University management. I do not know what consequences that will have, of course. Nobody does. But it looks like we are following the very modern trend of being in turmoil and having a strong sense of “us” and “them”! The situation isn't ideal.

And in the school? Well, it's not good. I do hope that the situation in the rest of the University is not as bad. In a situation of budget cuts, you expect the management of your own school to fight for your school. But within the school there is a strong feeling that we have management fighting against us! It is trying to effect more redundancies than the University has asked for (University demands 3FTE, Head of School is going for 4FTE), and only within the targeted group. A voluntary spreading of the load is not accepted. I didn't see that coming. In earlier budget cuts, I had faith the (previous) Head of School was fighting to avoid redundancies, rather than fighting to achieve them. It's not quite clear yet where this is going, but it's not looking good. I think I will have to end this post, as I tend to do these days, with the phrase ‘watch this space’!

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