“Transforming Cardiff”: Our jobs are at risk

By now, most of you will have heard about Cardiff University’s plan to cut costs under a new “restructuring” scheme called Transforming Cardiff. Many will also have seen the University’s announcement of yet another Voluntary Severance Scheme (the third in 6 years) to encourage staff to leave their posts. The Vice Chancellor has consistently refused to rule out compulsory redundancies

This has been widely covered in the regional and national news media, for instance in WalesOnline, and on the BBC website, and in the Guardian (this article shows how numerous other UK Universities are also announcing pre-Christmas job cuts – more have come to light since, details on our Twitter account).

All of these news stories quote the following robust joint public statement we released with the other campus Union branches from Unite and Unison (whose members are similarly angry at these developments):

“We are astonished that Cardiff University staff are facing their third voluntary severance scheme in six years, and we are very worried that the Vice Chancellor still refuses to rule out further compulsory redundancies.

“We are also gravely concerned that the proposed severance scheme will cause inequality and division among our already demoralised members. The criteria being used to decide the size of pay-outs mean that lump sums will vary in arbitrary ways. We believe those who take up the offer of voluntary severance should all be treated equally.

“We are in this situation because of continued mismanagement at the highest level. Only last year we were told that the University’s budget deficit was predicted and manageable, but now our jobs are on the line yet again. When a football manager performs this badly they either resign or get the sack, but Cardiff University managers seem to be immune from this kind of accountability. For them, laying off staff has become a reflex reaction, rather than an option of last resort.

“Morale among our members is already at rock bottom because of stagnating wages, unmanageable workloads, attacks on pensions, and continued investment in shiny new buildings instead of staff. 

“The only thing which changed the Vice-Chancellor’s mind over this year’s proposed pension raid was concerted industrial action. The looming threat of compulsory redundancies is a major worry for all three campus trade unions and we are all now consulting our members so we can unite in defence of our jobs should the need arise.”