Some of this information has now been superceded as the University concedes points – we will address these changes as soon as we are able to. The situation overall remains little changed however, it is an attack on academic freedom, it will make academic roles more precarious, it will result in ‘tame’ academics who are unable to challenge orthodoxy or University management and this will impact on students learning and on our international reputation and ability to recruit the best of the best. This is not the direction that we believe the University of Warwick should be heading.
DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR THE UNIVERSITY TO SERVE YOU WITH A REDUNDANCY NOTICE AFTER 30 DAYS OF CONSULTATION OR TO DISMISS YOU FOR:
- NOT SUBMITTING ARTICLES TO THE “RIGHT” JOURNALS?
- NOT GETTING ENOUGH 4* ARTICLES?
- DISAGREEING WITH DEPARTMENTAL OR UNIVERSITY POLICY?
- DISAGREEING WITH YOUR HEAD OF DEPARTMENT?
MANAGEMENT WANT TO GET RID OF THE RULES WHICH PROTECT YOUR JOB SECURITY AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM, REPLACING THEM WITH NEW HR POLICIES WHICH COULD SEE YOU SACKED IN A MATTER OF WEEKS.
YOU CAN STOP THIS. BUT ONLY IF WE ACT TOGETHER, NOW.
SUPPORT YOUR UNION AND SAVE OUR STATUTE.
What is Statute 24?
STATUTE 24 GOVERNS THE PROCESS OF DISMISSAL AND REDUNDANCY FOR ACADEMIC STAFF.
- Under the current statute, academic staff facing dismissal or redundancy have several stages of protection/appeal.
- Redundancies are ultimately the responsibility of University Council.
- Management can’t just do what they like – and any changes to Statute 24 have to be agreed by the Privy Council.
- New redundancy and dismissal policies will be in place, which will give staff the bare statutory minimum in terms of job protection.
- Heads of Department and HR – not the University Council – will be able to decide on redundancies.
- Faculty Chairs will be able to dismiss staff on a range of grounds, including conduct that ‘could’ damage the university’s reputation, a definition so broad it severely restricts academic freedom.
- Academics could be sacked for publishing in the wrong journals, offering controversial opinions, or just because management’s had enough of their course.
- Management claims that this change is a technical one, making the statute clearer and bringing it in line with law. There’s only one problem with that; the existing statute doesn’t contravene the law at any point.
- It’s also not a coincidence that management here aren’t alone in trying to get rid of our job protections – they tried it at UCL, and they’re also trying it right now at Leeds.
- This is about ‘agility’, ‘discipline’, and competition; in an age of TEF and continuing marketisation, management wants to be able to close courses and get rid of staff whose work might ‘damage the brand’, and to able to do both fast.
- Sign the petition. This issue goes to the heart of debates on academic freedom both in the UK and internationally. Circulate it to academic colleagues and interested parties far and wide.
- Get Statute 24 timetabled for your next departmental meeting. You’re not alone in being concerned about this – it affects us all. Let HoDs know how much it matters and how determined we are to fight it.
- Complete the University consultation – tell management your concerns.
- Talk to a colleague. Spread the word about the threat to our job security and our academic freedom.
We can win – and united we will
- UCU at UCL defeated this proposal five years ago, and with a concerted effort we can defeat it in the here and now.
- We’re not alone – colleagues at Leeds are now in formal dispute with management. We’ll support their struggle just as they’ll support ours – bringing press attention to bear on the casual destruction of academic freedom.
SOS in the News
Job security row erupts at the University of Warwick
Trade union claims the university wants to remove protections that academic staff have against redundancy