Update on New Phase of the Campaign

On 11 March 2024, the closure of Music is still ongoing and both members of staff facing CR were served notice last week.  This is a very sad time for Oxford Brookes and we will continue to fight this any way we can.
Brookes’s communication on the VS and compulsory redundancy situation states that aside from colleagues in music (and we are still fighting this), all staff who were at risk of redundancy no longer are. In large part this was because the union argued that the VS scheme should be widened so those whose jobs were at risk could be saved – and also because we persuaded the management to accept reductions in hours of those colleagues in the at risk groups to protect their jobs.
Whilst this can’t be counted as an unadulterated victory, members are in a better place than would have been without the branch’s efforts.
The threat of industrial action will also have helped persuade management to think again.
Unfortunately, this is just the beginning, and the negotiating team along with UNISON branch officers will be meeting regularly to negotiate and propose non staff cost savings: so my message is that the stronger we are as a union, the greater our chances are of avoiding job cuts through redundancies in the future.
Please continue to support us, and please ask colleagues who are not yet members, that they should join UCU: the more we are the stronger we are.
Here is what your reps are pushing for at the moment:
1.)  In response to the university’s proposed revisions to its currently incomplete Compulsory Redundancy Policy, we have counter-proposed a Redundancy Avoidance policy and have refused to further discuss the university’s initial proposal until we receive a formal response on our counter-proposal.
2.)  We are initiating a cross-program, cross-faculty (i,e, university-wide) “Save Research at Brookes” committee to put a stop to the competitive race to the bottom in terms of research allocations and other  measures in place that have traditionally supported research (such as teaching buy-outs, sabbatical schemes, university funding and research centres). The aim of this committee will be to share information and strategies that can help to maintain research as a priority of the institution and as integral to our teaching.  We believe this will be incredibly important as the university continues to look for ways to save costs and as teaching demands rise as a result of VS and increases in the number of vacant posts (as staff who leave are not replaced).
3.)  We are demanding that staff members who agree to VS and/or are made redundant be treated with due respect for their contributions at Brookes and that efforts are made to enable them to retain their Brookes’ email addresses, library access and access to their offices, as necessary, for a reasonable amount of time after they leave their posts.  We understand that there are security issues involved, but the branch position is that staff who voluntarily leave should not be treated as security threats; rather, they should be treated as valued alumni.  This is especially important with the quick time-frames in which VS and CR have been implemented.