Aberystwyth University Job plan causes row with union

Aberystwyth University was at the centre of a row with a union who fear that as many as 19 jobs could go from the university. The university is planning on carrying out a restructuring process that will slim line the staff but they’re promising that “a broadly similar number of roles” will be created as part of the restructuring package.

The row has been caused by claims from The University and College Union (UCU) that 19 of the university’s 91 administration staff will be axed. Once the row broke out, UCU even claimed that they’ve been misrepresented by the university. The full plan was circulated to consultants on 11th December, and according to Aberystwyth University they had “agreement of local representatives and full time officers of Unison, Unite and UCU unions.”

But that’s not how UCU see things. “We wish to make it absolutely clear in the documentation sent to staff that the new structures and new process have not been endorsed in any way by the UCU and we have been misrepresented,” a spokesman for UCU said. “We have been contacted by a lot of distressed staff and we are concerned that specific groups are being specifically targeted which will lead to the loss of 19 full-time equivalent posts. A number of the support staff are on 30-hour contracts which are often parents of young children.”

It sounds like things will escalate before a resolution’s founds. “Our legal advice is this could constitute indirect discrimination which targets part-time workers which are mainly women,” UCU’s spokesman said. “A lot of posts on higher grades could also be affected which would mean that workers in their late 40s and early 50s with a lot of institutional experience could also be discriminated against.” In response an Aberystwyth University spokesman focused on the UCU rather than the job issue: “The university is extremely disappointed that local representatives of UCU have chosen to completely ignore the constructive way in which the negotiations leading the current consultation have been conducted with local and full time union officials.”

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