News Release from UNISON
18th September 2018
UNISON members at the University of Bradford have voted for strike action following the announcement of a huge redundancy programme at the university.
In July it was announced that 250 staff faced redundancy, this came just 12 months after a similar university-wide reorganisation.
The turnout in the ballot was unusually high, with 61% of UNISON members voting, with 64% voting for strike action and 89% in favour of other forms of industrial action other than a strike.
This result comes just days before the University of Bradford UCU Branch and University of Bradford Student’s Union are expected to announce details of a vote of no-confidence in the Vice Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor. Professor Cantor, 70, was the former Vice Chancellor at the University of York, and under his leadership, there have been growing concerns as to the direction and performance of University of Bradford.
Leonie Sharp, Higher Educational regional organiser at UNISON said: “This is a huge mandate from the membership that they disagree with what the University of Bradford senior leadership are doing. We have repeatedly called for them to pause their redundancy process and find an alternative. We will always be prepared to meet the management to avoid industrial action. However, the University has shown no willingness to avoid these redundancies and so we will have to act on the mandate of our members.”
Despite having over £60million in reserves, the University of Bradford’s senior leadership has announced the redundancies in order to avoid running a deficit budget this year. UNISON believes that the focus needs to be on income generation, not cost-cutting.
UNISON will be holding an all members meeting in the coming days to decide what form of industrial action to take.
Patrick Dennehy, Unison Branch Secretary at University of Bradford, said: “We are extremely pleased with the turnout in this ballot. It is, however, disappointing that members feel this is now their only course of action. We will be calling all members to a meeting next week to decide on our next steps.
We feel it is really important that all the students are enrolled and through fresher’s week before we start taking industrial action and we know that the work of many our members is crucial to the success of this. Every UNISON member wants the university to be successful and ruining fresher’s week is not the right way to achieve that.”
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