Open Letter to the University of Roehampton Council concerning the plans for the future of the University

Open Letter to the University of Roehampton Council concerning the plans for the future of the University

18 July 2022

Dear Council member,

We are writing to you on the eve of planned changes which will impact hugely on the future of the University of Roehampton. We are concerned that you are being asked to approve far-reaching, costly and reputationally-damaging plans without access to all views.

At the final consultation meeting between Management and the UCU branch, the negotiators asked the Chair of the Consultation Group, Andy Lamb, to circulate UCU’s analysis of the redundancy proposal and business case to Council Members so that you would be able to have a balanced view of the situation before making a final decision. This request was refused.

We therefore ask you, please, to read our analysis which is available here.

The document sets out our concerns about the consultation and whether it conforms to the University’s statutory obligations. As you will see, UCU is not convinced that redundancies were necessary at all and believes that a more measured approach to ameliorate any financial problems would be more successful.

Most importantly, now that there have been significantly more applications for voluntary redundancy than the number of positions the university are seeking to eliminate, there is absolutely no need to move on to compulsory redundancies even if management’s financial forecasts were accurate. We requested that management cancel the second stage involving interviews of pooled staff and compulsory redundancies in favour of a properly-managed redundancy selection process if further redundancies are necessary. This request has been turned down without any explanation. It raises the possibility of a process that focusses on people rather than posts and brings the University onto legally-dubious ground.

We therefore ask you to read our response to the proposals before the meeting on Tuesday 19th. We also ask that you consider not approving any further redundancies, at least until the results of the voluntary scheme and any redeployment are known.

Yours sincerely,

Roehampton UCU