Dear colleagues, fellow students and friends,
I don’t know if you are aware of the looming redundancies in the University of Salford, and the process for weeding out staff. People in most schools and departments (including sociology and politics) are having to reapply for their jobs (Professors are not included in this procedure, but in a different one whereby they are asked, among other things, to take a cut in salary).
It seems only few people know about the redundancy plan going on, or rather about the current phase, since there have already been previous waves of sackings in the last months and years, and a new phase is announced for next year. The Union has organised a petition calling on management to reconsider. The petition is quite weak and does not explain the process, which is very appalling, but still you might want to sign it (https://www.ucu.org.uk/nosalfordcuts), or perhaps take a more robust kind of action, e.g. through the national associations.
About the process: people are forced to re-apply to their jobs in competition with one another (and in some cases in competition with external candidates). In sociology and politics, for example, the reapplication process consists of
· a written submission providing evidence that what people do meets a post specification recently developed by the university (15% – deadline 31 May, when people are at the peak of marking!)
· an oral presentation on ‘strategy’ prepared during one hour and presented in ten minutes (35%). All we know about this is: “The reference to ‘strategy’ in the context of the academic presentation has to do with the approach adopted by the School and/or its directorates in view of achieving success as an academic and financial unit”
· and a ‘competency based interview’ (50%). About this we have been told: <>
Presentation and interview will take place, it seems, around middle June. The members of the tribunal-panel are also unknown.
This will create a precedent – the managers who have taken over the university can do all this with total impunity, as this process is not a typical redundancy procedure (which for them is clearly not good enough), so through this procedure they need not agree almost anything with the unions and can make sure they scare people to death and definitely commodify and managerialised education.
It is obviously a total disgrace. Please circulate this information as widely as you can.