Solidarity with Sheffield Hallam UCU

To all at Sheffield Hallam UCU

We send a message of solidarity from University of Liverpool & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UCU branch.

We all know that voluntary severance schemes are neither voluntary – in the sense that staff are often pressured into volunteering – nor the end of the story. Voluntary schemes are so often followed up with compulsory redundancies (for example recently at Brighton University) that the voluntary phase could be seen as a deliberate tactic to scare staff into jumping before they are pushed. It is particularly heartless to announce the scheme just before the Christmas holidays. What a horrible gift to give to staff.

We note that SHU is planning to open a London campus. University of Liverpool did this a few years ago, and it was a complete disaster. Not only did it cost a vast amount of money, it also failed to attract students, and was ultimately closed down with the loss of all jobs. The fact that universities don’t learn from each other, and avoid such pointless ventures, is baffling.

A year later, our management announced 47 job cuts at the Liverpool campus, and we began our battle over redundancies. Our first step was to immediately ballot for action, which allowed us to rally the branch and take strike action in the run up to a marking and assessment boycott. We would recommend preparing for a ballot as soon as you can, so that you are able to take action during term time if needed. Ours was a difficult battle, but ultimately we won through a combination of the determination of our members, and the amazing solidarity we received from other UCU branches. If there is anything we can do to support your branch in the battles ahead, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In solidarity

Branch Committee
University of Liverpool & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UCU