The Voluntary Leavers Scheme (VLS) in FBS/SoM has concluded. 64 staff in total across the two areas applied, and 33 will be leaving the university under this scheme. The campus unions have still not been provided with either full financial details for FBS/SoM or the criteria that were used to decide which VLS applications were accepted. Our dispute is still live – our three requirements to end the dispute are that university management should:
- commit to no compulsory redundancies – they have told us they will do everything they can to avoid compulsory redundancies but are not prepared to commit;
- pause any further actions during the pandemic – we have been told there will be a significant pause but we don’t know how long this pause will be;
- fully consult and negotiate on any further changes – we have been assured this will happen. We hope and expect to get full information from now on.
At the emergency general meeting on 9 February we gave a cautious welcome to these responses, which we believe were the result of the pressure from the campus unions, including the prospect of possible future industrial action and the publicity we have achieved, both locally and nationally. We know other universities have called off redundancies when UCU branches have gone on strike, or have been about to. If management here do announce redundancies in future, it will take some time for the branch to go through the steps to meet both UCU requirements and legal requirements before we can take industrial action. So our plan now is a) vigilance to ensure proper consultation if new proposals arise b) continuing to ask for detailed finances c) continuing to keep up the publicity to help management realise that redundancies would be unacceptable and d) being well prepared to start the processes for industrial action if necessary.
Please sign our petition at speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/stop-job-cuts-at-university-of-leeds if you haven’t already, and please ask colleagues to sign!