Glasgow Caledonian University sets out 95 job cut plans
Glasgow Caledonian is involved in a 90-day consultation over planned cuts
Glasgow Caledonian University has contacted staff with outline proposals for cutting up to 95 jobs in a bid to save £5m from its annual running costs.
Management want to merge the university’s six existing departments – or “schools” – into three larger ones.
Ideas on how to achieve the cuts have been sent to staff as part of a 90-day consultation process.
Unions have said they will fight the proposals and accused the university of ignoring alternative ideas for savings.
Glasgow Caledonian has previously said it needed to make savings of £12m per year by 2014 due to cuts in funding from central government.
It has already made £5m, with £7m still to find. The latest proposed savings, if achieved by July 2012, would meet £5m of that balance.
A spokeswoman for the university said letters and emails sent to staff on Wednesday listed ways in which the savings could be achieved.
“The ideas being shared with staff are proposals on how the university’s central administrative and support services might be restructured to secure our long-term sustainability and deliver upon our future plans,” she said.
“Front-line staff providing critical services for students will go whilst there are proposals to increase the size of senior management” Dr Nick McKerrell Combined union committee
The University spokeswoman claimed: “No decisions have been made, and while it has already been announced that the university could see a reduction of up to 95 administrative and support posts, we remain committed to achieving role reductions through voluntary means and we are considering every alternative.
“Significant savings have already been identified from non pay costs and these will be incorporated into our plans, reducing the number of roles that may be lost.”
The university currently has six academic departments – built and natural environment; Caledonian business school; engineering and computing; health; life sciences and law and social sciences.
Under new proposals, these would be merged into three larger schools – health and life sciences; engineering, computing and the environment; and business, law and social sciences.
Those jobs most at risk in each department are in senior management, administrative and support services, and marketing and human resources.
Glasgow Caledonian currently employs 1,613 staff, so the proposed jobs cut would affect about 6% of the workforce.
The university’s combined union committee said the proposals were disgraceful when set against the “escalating budget of senior management salaries and perks”.
Committee convenor, Dr Nick McKerrell, said: “Front-line staff providing critical services for students will go whilst there are proposals to increase the size of senior management. It is breathtaking. These cuts will have a direct effect on students’ teaching and learning experience.
“This is clearly a cost-cutting exercise yet the trade unions have proposed alternative areas of review where money could be saved without one redundancy let alone 95.
“These are in the areas of capital spending, the size, salary and expense accounts of our senior management which have grown massively in the last few years and the failing campus in London where despite spending £3m only 60 students have been attracted.”
Glasgow Caledonian University pay gap ‘disgraceful’
An MSP has called on Glasgow Caledonian University to explain “disgraceful” levels of management pay at a time of cutbacks among staff.
Bill Kidd, SNP member for Glasgow, said top staff numbers had trebled and their salaries doubled in the past four years while teaching staff had fallen by 100.
His comments come ahead of a planned rally against cuts on Wednesday.
The university said that 70% of the university’s highest paid staff were academics.
Mr Kidd’s comments came after Glasgow Caledonian Combined Union Committee (CUC) highlighted salary figures from the university’s annual accounts.
The committee said that since 2006, 373 teaching and support jobs had been lost mainly through an extended voluntary redundancy scheme.
It said that over the same period higher paid staff, who earn more than £70,000 per year, had increased from 13 to 41.
The committee said that among the university’s top earners, nine people were paid more than £100,000, four people were paid more than the first minister and three paid more than the prime minister.
Mr Kidd said: “The numbers now at executive level and the levels of salaries being paid to them whilst the numbers of academic and other staff grades are showing real reductions is nothing short of disgraceful and need to be highlighted and explained.
“I would want the principal and the board of Glasgow Caledonian University to explain their direction of travel in delivery of education where the numbers of executive staff has trebled and their salaries doubled, whilst the teaching staff has fallen by 100 in the past four years.”
Glasgow Caledonian CUC plans to hold a rally on Wednesday against any future cuts in staff and resources.
Committee convener, Dr Nick McKerrell, said: “University staff have witnessed a steady cutting of staff numbers in the last five years. More than 300 of our colleagues have gone and not been replaced. This was deemed to be necessary because of public sector cuts.
“However, as we have discovered, using public funds the number of highly-paid management in the same time period has gone through the roof.
“Questions need to be asked about how this has been allowed to happen. We need a redistribution of public money within Caledonian.”
A spokesman for the university said: “Like others in the higher education sector, staff at Glasgow Caledonian University have benefited from substantial nationally negotiated pay rises in recent years – lifting a significant number into a pay bracket of over £70,000.
“To say that the university management have benefited at the expense of other staff is incorrect and misleading.”