UPDATE: Fancy Being Fired?
Staff at Cambridge are being offered the chance to apply for redundancy in an attempt to cut costs.
The University Union Vice President, David Goode, told The Tab the Voluntary Severance Scheme is: “a small sticking plaster on a gaping wound.“
He described it as: “little more than a short-term measure.”
But he conceded that: “if successful the VSS will at least postpone the need for compulsory redundancies, and that is the lesser of two evils.”
He went on to say that the University and College Union are also considering industrial action over proposed changes to academic’s pensions and job protection.
Uni top brass are offering staff the chance to quit their jobs in return for a year’s salary.
The scheme, which was launched last week, allows both academic and non-academic staff the chance to apply for voluntary severance. It is part of an attempt to reduce costs, as government cuts begin to hit home.
Staff who offer their heads for the chopping block will get a lump sum payment equal to a year’s salary.
The scheme has no target for savings or cuts, but a university spokesperson hopes it will “assist the university in supporting any restructuring activities during these times of financial constraint.”
He continued: “The scheme is just one of a number of ways in which the university is seeking to control costs.”
Ashley Abrahams, a second year student from Peterhouse, told The Tab: “In principle it seems like a good idea, it’s just whether the implementation of it will be successful or not.”
But Caitlín Doherty, a second year student from John’s who is involved with Cambridge Defend Education, warned: “The way these schemes have been implemented in other universities has resulted in circumstances in which the redundancies have been far from voluntary.
“It’s often the most experienced, older staff who go.”
Cambridge University is currently one of Cambridge’s biggest employers. But, despite The Voluntary Severance Scheme, uni chiefs said they could not rule out the possibility of more widespread redundancies.
The deadline to apply for voluntary redundancy is 18th March.