The University and College Union (UCU) branch at the University of Kent has unanimously voted in favour of taking industrial action if negotiations over compulsory redundancies break down.
The meeting took place last night and was attended by some 124 UCU members at Kent, as well as 5 at Medway and 16 from the Law School.
At the heart of this matter is compulsory redundancies in the Biosciences department, which incidentally is top in Teaching Quality Assessments and top in the National Student Survey.
It has been reported that ten out of the twenty-seven staff members in the Biosciences department have been given letters of notice that they’re scheduled to lose their jobs. It was also highlighted that this is not a financial issue given that the Biosciences department has not run a deficit, instead, it seems to be about re-structuring the department and placing an emphasis on creating jobs which are designed to attract big business investment, rather than placing an emphasis on the quality of teaching students receive.
Keith Mander, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, has presided over the implementation group which has threatened the staff with redundancies.
The UCU branch chair predicted that a “storm is coming”, as well as saying it’s “never been as bad as this before.”
More from Dave Semple at Though Cowards Flinch.
UPDATE: It is now suggested that 12 members of staff from the Biosciences department face the threat of compulsory redundancy.