Campus Unions continue to urge the University’s management team to manage the Bradford Excellence Programme in a way that is fair, reasonable, and has robust and measurable positive outcomes.
In recent months it has become clear that the BEP programme is primarily focussed on reducing cost; the oft repeated “better for less” philosophy, and that a significant area for cost reduction is seen as staffing.
At the time of writing all completed restructures have resulted in there being less posts available, and management have utilised “voluntary” strategies in pursuit of this area of saving.
UCU would contend that often by painting a member of staff into a corner, the choice is essentially that of Hobson, making the voluntary nature of any severance at best debateable.
We further are concerned that the separation of the BEP programme is designed primarily to disaggregate the overall impact of the programme in respect of job losses. Several UCU requests for an impact projection for the full programme in terms of job losses have essentially been ignored.
As a part of the BEP process, unions engage with management through the Employment Security Forum, with the expectation that management endeavour to protect jobs at all costs.
Members will recall that the LA gave you the chance to feedback your views on the Redundancy Selection Criteria that management proposed. That feedback was collated and issued to management for consideration by ESF. Management’s response was swift and it would appear unequivocal; ESF has been suspended with immediate effect, with the prospect of its resurrection in the New Year. The protocol has been implemented with no apparent changes to reflect members views. UCU has considered for some time that ESF had been reduced to little more than a platform for management to supply the information that they wish to divulge. All vestige of the principles of consultation and/or negotiation have been displaced by pronouncement, and this most recent development only serves to reinforce that perception.
Please be under no illusion. Your union is ideologically opposed to compulsory redundancy, and will do all in its power to resist such an approach. It is however prepared to proceed with caution where genuinely voluntary schemes are being offered to all staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for those who wish to take up such an offer.