The University has informed all staff at MMU Cheshire of proposals for changes including the possibility of the permanent closure of the campus.
At a meeting in June the University’s Board of Governors and the Vice Chancellor ruled out the option of ‘business as usual’. Managers have stressed their commitment to existing students enrolled on courses at Crewe, including to the quality of their experience of studying at MMU. There are just three options now under consideration: a reduced ‘focused’ presence on the existing site; a move to a Crewe town centre site, possibly in conjunction with new educational partners; and closure. All options have extremely serious implications not only for the future of the Higher Education offer in the vicinity, but for current academic and support staff jobs.
The University has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies.
UCU is opposed to compulsory redundancy and your officers, convenors and reps have made this policy clear in every meeting with managers.
The University Executive Group had commissioned a report by consultants Deloitte into the viability of a number of options and assessing the current operating position.
In consultation meetings with staff, senior staff and Deloitte’s representatives reported a series of further meetings with student reps at Crewe, and with some local political bodies and businesses. The University has arranged a process of informal consultation with staff in meetings and on-line consultation, although this does not include consulting on the possibility of the continued operation of the Crewe Campus as it is currently configured. These consultations will inform a further report by Deloitte to be presented to the Board of Governors for a decision to be taken on Friday 30th September.
HR staff have also talked to representatives of all three unions, UCU, Unison and GMB, although only in relation to the three options currently under consideration. The first Deloitte report is not to be published but HR has agreed to answer questions put directly by union reps.
UCU branch officers with our Regional Support Officer held a meeting with members at Crewe on August 3rd. Crewe reps, Michael Loughlin and Rick Fenoglio are continuing to consult with UCU staff. Members have asked the branch officers to find out more about the basis for the University’s decisions, and to compile our own report on the case for Crewe, not limited to any given options. Members want to articulate the kinds of value – educational, cultural and economic – which underpin a tradition of over a hundred years of continuing and viable Higher Education provision in the area. We have compiled and sent a series of questions to our Senior Management team, but we are still collecting your questions and your contributions – contact your Crewe reps today!
UCU is ready to respond to your concerns and to act in your interests. Get in touch with each other, talk to us and recruit your colleagues to UCU as soon as you can. There is no lee-way in this timetable and we need to respond quickly.
UCU, Unison and GMB reps have held joint interest meetings and we are working closely together with our sister unions.
Branch Secretary, Julie Wilkinson is at email@example.com.
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