Uni advertises chauffeur job whilst up to 75 lecturers jobs are under threat

Apparently a chauffeur for Uni Execs is more important than our teaching

Despite the apparent need to cut staff, the university has advertised a chauffeur job on it's recruitment page. This role specifies 25 hours a week, and the salary is up to £23,557 a year. One of the job's roles is to "provide a chauffeur and car service to the University Executives and visiting dignitaries and be aware at all times of the high profile and public nature of the position".

Across six departments, up to 75 lecturers' jobs are being put at risk by the university. The uni have claimed it wants to reduce staff costs, despite already cutting the income spent on staff, which a decade ago was 60 per cent and is now only 53 per cent, as well as the advertisement of a personal driver for University Executives.

Simultaneously, senior staff's salaries are increasing. The Vice Chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, who in 2014 took a pay rise of 2.8 per cent whilst "refusing to offer staff more than 1 per cent" at the University of Surrey, receives £352,000 with his pay and benefits combined. Moreover, multiple staff are earning over £100,00, soon rising to £137,000.

University and College Union (UCU), have said that such a badly planned restrcucture will threaten Southampton's reputation and ability to offer top-class education, for example Music, which was the top-rated music department in the UK in 2014. Other affected departments are English, Law, Chemistry, Tribology, and Social Sciences.

The university has recently received the lowest score of "bronze" in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Cutting staff certainly won't improve that score, especially when new research has shown that students stress their lecturers, and the quality of teaching as the number one factor when it comes to judging excellence.

UCU members met on Wednesday 15th November to discuss the plans and their response to them. The university intends to confirm the first staff to leave on 19th December.

UCU regional official Moray McAulay said: "These plans look rushed and dangerous. You cannot deliver world-leading education by cutting staff. Students cite lecturers as they key factor when it comes to teaching excellence so the university is unlikely to improve its teaching ranking by cutting staff."

They added: "nothing has been ruled out at this stage".

Is it really right for Sir Christopher Snowdon to be cutting our lecturers jobs whilst he earns comfortably over £300,000 and has his own personal chauffeur?