Petition Tag - redundancy

1. Stop Redundancies at University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham have announced plans to make 114 staff redundant or force them to work anti social hours contracts.

Staff directly supporting students and there wellbeing are affected.

Cuts include:
*Cut in staff looking after students in student accommodation and downgrading their skills;
*Sports Centre, Security and Cleaning.

The anti social hours contracts are forcing staff with caring responsibilities for children and parents to work evenings and weekends.

All the cuts are to frontline staff, not senior managers.

2. Invest in the future... don't forget the past!

Petition against the proposed closure of the workshops and the proposed restructuring which will result in the redeployment and redundancies of several staff in the school of Art, Design and Media at the University of Portsmouth.

3. Keep our pet shop Animal Tracks open

Do do a very stupid rule Animal Tracks are to be evicted from their shop on North Seaton Industrial Estate, Ashington, Northumberland, United Kinkgdom.

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Animal Tracks is a wonderful business with very friendly and helpful staff and parking is free, plentiful and close to the shop. It is perfect for customers particularly the elderly, infirm and disabled. I myself am still recovering from cancer treatment and have to buy bulky items for my pets. Particularly sand and filter equipment for the turtles (see the picture section of the group), I like to buy in bulk because of cost savings but would not be able to if the parking was not so convenient.

There is also a nice bakery on the estate which means going to the pet shop is a little outing followed by a picnic lunch.

The variety of animals on view at Animal Tracks is amazing and make it a pleasure to visit. If it was stuck on a high street with limited or no parking this would no longer be the case.

I believe from talking to the owners that they received money in grants from Wansbeck Council and Go Wansbeck. What a waste of public money if they are force to move (or close) especially in this economic climate.

Surely all planning consents etc were passed BEFORE any grants were awarded, and if they were given in error then the council should just bit the bullet and learn from experience rather than damage a successful small business.

The rates etc are much higher in the area the council want to move them so to survive Animal Tracks would have to lose staff and even then the move could put them out of business.

This is a very important shop, many a pet store has fallen under economic strain over the years - DO NO LET US LOSE THIS ONE. PLEASE JOIN and SUPPORT US.

Membership lists will be used as a protest to the council.

Many Thanks.

4. Halt the Redundancies of Staff at Gray’s

We the students of Gray’s School of Art were concerned to hear of proposed staff redundancies at our Art School.

Staff at Grays School of Art were called to a meeting with Prof. John Watson, the Dean of Design & Technology on Wednesday 6 October 2010 and told that the Art School had a budget deficit and needed to make savings of £500,000 and these savings would be met through staff redundancies. They were told they would all receive the option of voluntary redundancy.

We are concerned that other options for saving money and funding the Art School have not been fully explored. Redundancy on such a wide scale will severely damage the quality of teaching that the school has always managed to provide.

5. Save Jobs at the University of Reading

The University plans to appoint a reader/professor in theatre and sack one lecturer specialising in film and one lecturer specialising in television. This is part of the University’s plans to both save money and to reshape the University ‘strategically’. The two lecturers who will be dismissed are most likely to be junior members of staff (the department has a high proportion of young lecturers) and the new reader/professor will certainly be on a much higher pay scale. Therefore, the cost saving objective behind this plan is not apparent. Neither does the ‘reshaping strategy’ (e.g. scaling back film and television while investing in theatre) have any clear reasoning behind it. Repeatedly, the University has claimed that the decision to favour theatre in the current plans is based upon perceptions of relative research strength. For example, early in the process of planning where to make cuts, the University management suggested that film performed less well in the last RAE (Research Assessment Exercise). It was pointed out that this was pure speculation (the RAE results are completely anonymous and do not identify individual lecturers let alone separate theatre from film or television) and they eventually retracted this claim (or, rather, stopped saying it). However, they continue to point to the perceived greatest value for the department of theatre as a research discipline as the basis for their decisions. Whenever they are questioned on the academic basis for their strategy, the University management is unable to point to any factual data, any objective or empirical evidence. We, the undersigned, point out that the University seems to be basing their continued strategy, which will destroy two careers, on gossip and innuendo.

Moreover, by singling out film and television specialists, the University is effectively undermining the interdisciplinarity of the department, which is one of its renowned features. For example, the BA in Film and Theatre is a single-honours degree. The disciplines are substantially integrated through the department’s teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as through the department’s research. Moreover, the recently advertised post of reader/professor in theatre would be the replacement of a retired member of staff whose job title was ‘professor in film and drama’.

We note that the department has been unable to appoint at reader level or above in theatre on two separate occasions (the post was last advertised in August 2010 and the University was unable to draw up a shortlist of a sufficient calibre). In effect, this means that the University will fire two (almost certainly junior) academics in order to have the ‘research leadership’ of a person who they cannot find. This is not only morally indefensible but is also severely misguided. The department is a very young one (in terms of the age of its lecturers), the University having repeatedly invested in the long-term potential of junior staff. Neither the University nor the department has ever suggested junior staff are not fulfilling this potential, so they should have the patience to realise the long-term vision their previous appointments demonstrated and reward the excellence in teaching and research displayed by this vibrant department. The University has also invested in an £11 million building for the department (opening Easter this year), which will contain state of the art facilities for theatre, film and television, and we, the undersigned, suggest the University should better value the staff who will work in its new buildings.

In the current climate, many will feel that financial savings must be made at Reading and at other universities. However, here as elsewhere, savings can be made by voluntary redundancy and the non-replacement of staff. We do not accept the University pursuing a misguided and short-termist agenda that will destroy careers, staff morale, will weaken the diversity of research and teaching in the department and is part of a ‘strategy’ that is ill-conceived and lacks an objective grounding in fact.

Please read on...

To those signing the petition, we ask if you would please email as many of the senior members of the University of Reading management that you can in order to protest against its mistreatment of staff and to demand that it withdraw from its plans for a new appointment in theatre so that it can save existing posts.

The email addresses are below and we have also included a suggested template for the email at the bottom. Please use/don’t use as you see fit. We would be so grateful if you can show your support for the staff in Reading FTT in any way you can and protest against the sacking of two lecturers in order to get in a new, more senior member of staff. This is all part of a severely misguided (not to mention callous) management agenda.

Thank you so much for your support!

Gordon Marshall (Vice Chancellor):

Christopher Fisher (President of University Council):

Tony Downes (Deputy Vice Chancellor):

Rob Robson (Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning):

Sue Walker (Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities):

Jonathan Bignell (Head of School of Arts, English and Communication Design and member of FTT department):

Dear *,

I call on the University of Reading to withdraw its plans to make two lecturers redundant in its Film, Theatre and Television department (FTT) while appointing a new reader/professor in the same department. The University says that its ‘intention remains of course to avoid the need for compulsory redundancy where this is possible’ yet these redundancies are clearly avoidable here – a reader/professor clearly costs a lot more than the lecturers the University plans to dismiss. These redundancies will not only potentially destroy two careers, they will undermine the interdisciplinarity the FTT department is known for and the diversity and vibrancy of its teaching and research.

In the current climate, the University management clearly feels that financial savings must be made. However, here as elsewhere, the savings can be made by voluntary redundancy and the non-replacement of staff. I contend that this would be a much less divisive and much less destructive way of coping with the current funding crisis and would therefore prove to be a much more effective management policy in the longer term.

Thanks for your time in reading this.

Yours *

6. Education Maintenance Allowance - base it on the present not the past

What is EMA?

Basically, EMA is cash in your hands to help you carry on learning. If you’re 16, 17 or 18 and have left, or are about to leave, compulsory education, then it could be for you.

EMA spells fewer money worries with up to £30 a week during term time – leaving you to get on with your studies.


7. Save Gary Budgen

Due to discrepancies with London Metropolitan University’s data during an audit by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), London Met has found itself in financial crisis, including an18 million pounds per year cutback and a 38 million pound debt to pay back over the next five years.

This has inevitably led to massive job cuts at London Met.

8. Increase the Jobseeker's Allowance

UK taxpayers have seen billions of pounds of their hard-earned cash poured into the banking system and watched as government ministers claim thousands more for second homes and other questionable ‘expenses’. Now we call on the government to return the favour and assist taxpayers, workers and families who have fallen on hard times due to no fault of their own.

Unemployment is 2 million and rising. As the economic crisis deepens, many unemployed workers face the loss of their savings and homes as they struggle to survive on the £64.30 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance for the over 25s. Despite paying into the National Insurance system – often for decades – many have been shocked to find they aren’t eligible to receive the full £64.30 a week or additional payments, such as housing benefit, because their partners are in work. Others are forced to commute many miles to ‘sign on’ to receive payments which barely cover their travel costs. The Jobseekers’ Allowance makes no allowances either for the cost of travel to job interviews or other expenses incurred in the job seeking process.

In addition, Jobseekers complain that Jobcentre Plus staff are often poorly trained and unsympathetic and that the system is currently incapable of helping white collar workers find skilled positions or providing relevant training schemes.

The system has to change.

9. Stop RLSB Workshop Closure

Community union members at the Royal London Society for the Blind workplace in London have recieved letters threatening them with redundancy.

Community the Union believes that this is a 'disgraceful, callous act performed without consultation and no regard for the needs of their disabled workforce'.

The company has initiated a consultation period, and Community intends to represent members within this process but also to oppose the redundancies and fight to keep the factory open.