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Date: 31 March 2011

UNISON warns of ‘dark future’ for students if university cuts go ahead

UNISON Scotland has condemned planned cuts by Glasgow Caledonian University, claiming students will face a dark future if cuts go ahead.

Earlier this month, management announced plans to cut 95 jobs at the university – a move which staff say will hit the most vulnerable students hardest.

Today staff will be given an outline of the cuts and told which jobs face the axe, with support and administrative staff most at risk. Figures show that the number of support staff at the university has dropped by more than 25 per cent in the last five years.

This is in stark contrast to the rise in higher paid staff at the university which has trebled in the same period (figures listed below).

Davena Rankin, branch secretary at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “These cuts spell a dark future for our students. Last year alone, more than 16,000 students sought support from our staff – vital support which can make the difference between a student staying on at university or dropping out. Despite this, many of these staff will find out today that their jobs will go.

“And the axe is falling directly on support staff, who have already seen a massive drop in numbers over the last five years, despite the number of senior posts increasing threefold.

“By cutting our support staff they are cutting crucial services and the worry is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We believe our students deserve better and we will fight these cuts every step of the way.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

1. Figures below indicate the reduction in administrative and support roles over the past 5 years at GCU, and the rise in the number of higher paid staff at GCU over the past 5 years. Figures taken from GCU annual reports.

2. UNISON is Scotland’s largest public services union. For more information on our campaign to protect public services log on to www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks

3. For further information contact Davena Rankin, branch secretary at Glasgow Caledonian University, on 07901 594 158, or Mandy McDowall, regional organiser with UNISON, on 07903 846 427

Staff numbers at GCU

2005/6   2009/10  
Academic 880   Academic 780
Technical 88   Technical 60
Administrative 803   Administrative 554
Others 114   Others 118
Total: 1,885   Total 1,512
Higher paid staff salary
2005/6     2009/10  
£70,000-£79,999 6   £70,000-£79,999 17
£80,000-£89,999 5   £80,000-£89,999 11
£90,000-£99,999 2   £90,000-£99,999 4
      £100,000-£109,999 2
      £110,000-£119,999 3
      £130,000-£139,999 2
      £140,000-£149,999 1
      £180,000-£189,999 1
Total: 13   Total: 41
         

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