Coventry University UCU expresses its solidarity with our colleagues in Warwick UCU in its ‘Save Our Statute’ Campaign. This campaign concerns the way the University Management at Warwick are currently seeking to remove Warwick University’s ‘statute reforms’; which involves the repealing of current provisions for redundancy, discipline and dismissal. These changes makes it quicker and easier to sack and discipline members of staff at the University.
This is a clear attack on staff terms and conditions and job security at Warwick University. If this is allowed to go through these moves will be emulated throughout the Higher Education sector in general.
We are concerned that these changes come at a time at which the stress levels experienced by staff in the HE sector are rising considerably. A recent study into this by Prof Ronald Persson, who has previously worked at the University of Huddersfield, noted that:
“The deterioration [in staff well-being] between 2006 and 2010 has been remarkable…The pressure caused by the REF has grown much worse…if you examine newer universities, in particular, they have really embraced the concepts of new public management wholeheartedly,” he added, saying these are a major source of staff unhappiness. (THE 4/5/17)
We see these initiatives as part of a developing approach by University Senior managers in which they have ceased to see themselves as not publicly accountable. British Universities are legally defined as charities and as such they have a responsibility to consider the wider public interest. It is difficult to see how an initiative such as this which increases the power of academic managers is in the interests of staff, students or the wider public.
Coventry University UCU joins the calls across the HE Sector for these changes to be withdrawn as soon as possible.
(Originally posted to Coventry UCU Facebook timeline)
Warwick UCU is very grateful to have received this statement of solidarity from Coventry UCU.