We strongly oppose the redundancies being planned in the Health and Life Sciences and are calling on our University stop the current process. We stand in solidarity with our students, staff and the UCU’s action that they are taking against the redundancies. The Guild Officer team believe that nobody should be losing their job during a pandemic and believe that there has been little action in mitigating the impact on affected students research. The threat of these redundancies are already affecting our students’ learning and researching conditions and will only continue to if the University do not halt Phase 2 of Project SHAPE. This is a huge issue amongst post-graduate research students in HLS, shown in the open letter signed by 89 students.
Many students, often choose an institution based on a specialism. Their work often aligns with those sector-leading academics, therefore losing those crucial members of staff impacts their work significantly, which is an issue that disproportionately affects our postgraduate research students. The University have claimed they “are working hard to limit the impact that the proposals will have upon our staff and students”, however, when discussed with students in affected departments they were unaware of how this would play in practice. The University have referred to a task force in the department of Health of Life Sciences where they will map out who has been affected, but our students have haven’t received any private communications from senior management or the faculty team.
There is also a threat to students’ mental health if these redundancies are put in place. Students will have learning and support plans in place before they start their research. PGR students will have close relationships with their supervisors, which means that they will understand any support plans in place for the student. Moreover, the uncertainty with losing your supervisor in the middle of a students’ research will increase anxiety. If the University wants to prioritise students’ mental health, then they must stop the redundancies.
If you have any queries about the industrial action taking place at the University or want to show your support for those opposing the redundancies, please contact Adnan Hussain at email@example.com.
We hope that the University reconsider their position on staff working at HLS.
Adnan, Chloe, Imogen, Ffion – Guild Officers 20/21