Manchester Metropolitan University has informed all staff at MMU Cheshire of proposals for changes including the possibility of the permanent closure of the campus – see our earlier post with details.
At a meeting in June this year, 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 with new educational partners; and closure. All options have extremely serious implications not only for the future of the Higher Education offer in the area, but for current academic and support staff jobs.
The UCU branch has been working closely with Unison and the GMB to oppose compulsory redundancy; regional and branch officers have made this policy clear in every meeting with managers. So far no member of staff at Crewe has been informed that they may be made redundant. But the University has also refused to rule out compulsory redundancies.
Please sign the UCU petition in support of ‘The Case for Crewe’ which we intend to present to MMU’s Vice Chancellor and Governors in mid-November.
If you have a direct connection with MMU Cheshire don’t forget to add this to your signature along with your reasons for signing.
Thank you for your support.
MMU UCU Branch Secretary
The MMU UCU branch conducted a survey of members at the end of the academic year 2015-16. The results are attached below (data all).
Many members report working outside our standard hours of employment, in the evenings, during vacations and when off sick. It is important to notice too just how many members are reporting exhaustion, anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns – all of which are precursors to more serious health conditions.
Members told us that key stressors included increased paperwork/administration, the NSS, and a sense of not being valued, or in control over demands and deadlines which are increasingly difficult to meet.
Stress and work-related ill health are major health and safety concerns and it is vital that both we as employees and our employers take them seriously as they have a major and detrimental impact upon our health and wellbeing and upon our workplace and working relationships. This is recognised in the NICE guidelines (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph22) and by the Health and Safety Executive (http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/) There is cumulative evidence that working long hours without adequate rest or time off is linked to mental health and cardio-vascular problems. It also places particular strain on employees with caring responsibilities and makes striking an appropriate work/life balance impossible.
UCU@MMU is committed to working with management to address the key stressors that our survey identifies. To do this effectively across the university we need more Health and Safety Representatives. If you are interested in taking on this role please contact our H&S coordinator, Lucy Burke – firstname.lastname@example.org