Belfast Telegraph

University in 'consultation failure over severances'

By Staff Reporter

Ulster University has been accused by a lecturers' trade union of failing to consult staff over redundancies.

The University and College Union (UCU), which represents academic staff at universities across the UK, has taken Ulster university to an industrial tribunal over the issue - which relates to a voluntary severance scheme made available to staff in 2016.

The lecturers' union claims the university made 'unilateral' decisions to close specific courses and research areas, and that staff who would have been prepared to leave were not offered the voluntary severance package.

In a statement yesterday, the UCU claimed that by the time it was informed of management's proposals, courses had already been removed from Ulster University marketing materials and from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

The UCU said this meant that redundancies in those areas were a 'fait accompli'.

Tracey Irwin, UCU branch chair at Ulster University said: "It is also extremely disappointing because it is too late for our many talented and dedicated colleagues who were forced to leave their jobs, and because it should never have come to this. UCU sincerely hopes that this tribunal will be a long-awaited turning point towards good industrial relations at Ulster University."

The tribunal hearing is expected to end today. A decision is to be given by September.

In a statement, Ulster University said: "It would be inappropriate to comment on a case which is ongoing."

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