Students oppose potential job cuts

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Students pack out the George Fox Lecture 1. Photograph by Jonnie Critchley.

[AMMENDMENT – The petition against staff redundancies mentioned below was established by a group of Lancaster students and not by an individual, as reported initially. Furthermore, the petition is available in paper form as well as online. Assistant Editor, 13/02/12.]

A Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) General Meeting attended by 370 students on Thursday 9th February has voted unanimously against Lancaster University’s current Business Process Review (BPR).

The objective of the BPR, announced in November, is to “create a more responsive and consistent model of administration.” A University statement went on to say the BPR was created “to identify those areas of administration that could run more efficiently and effectively,” as well as aiming “to focus the money spent on administration in the best way to deliver our strategic plan.”

Students and LUSU officers quickly raised concerns following the announcement of the BPR. Presentations at LUSU Council and Academic Council raised additional issues including questions of why the review was brought about and the aims and values of the process.

770 students have now signed a online petition entitled ‘Campaign Against Admin Staff Redundancies’, which was set up by Lancaster University students.

Ahead of the General Meeting LUSU President George Gardiner called on students to attend, arguing that the meeting offered the “chance for students to reject the University’s lack of transparency, lack of consultation and lack of justification throughout their entire review.” The 370 students in attendance easily exceeded the 200 required to achieve quoracy, the point at which motions may be discussed.

The General Meeting passed a motion that resolved the Union would “support the retention of Lancaster University administration staff and to reject all redundancies made by the University as a result of the current BPR.”

Following the meeting, Gardiner expressed “this unanimous show of support for our administration staff cements the view that they are an indispensable part of this University. We will continue to show our support for them.”

Extensive coverage of the LUSU General Meeting will be featured in Week Five’s issue of SCAN, available from Monday February 13th.

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