University of Brighton staff plan strike in protest at over 100 proposed redundancies

The University of Brighton says it needs to make the cuts as it faces soaring costs and falling income.  Credit: ITV News Meridian

Staff at the University of Brighton are planning to strike in protest at over one hundred redundancies. 

Unions fear that around 110 people will lose their jobs as the University tries to make savings of almost £18 million.

The University says it needs to make the cuts as it faces soaring costs and falling income. 

But unions say the job losses will harm education - and many lecturers fear their jobs are at risk.

  • WATCH: Alexei Fisk, a student at the University of Brighton, reacts to the news

University and College Union (UCU) Chair Mark Abel added: “Staff morale was already low before this announcement, with little evidence of faith in the senior leadership.

"A staff survey in 2018 found that 78% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I see evidence of effective leadership from the University's leaders.

"Things have not improved since then. As staff, we have had enough. We have already voted to take strike action in two national industrial action ballots this year.

"We have shown consistently that we will fight to defend jobs and conditions and to protect the quality of education at this University.

"We will do everything in our power as a union to defend our members and this University from this attack from above.  

Union members are now planning to hold a ballot on industrial action, which would likely take place during the next academic year.

The university says it has done all it can to avoid job cuts Credit: ITV News Meridian

The university says it's done all it can to avoid these job cuts.

A spokesperson said: “As a provider of high-quality, skills-based education, there are significant opportunities for us to continue to strengthen our position as we look to the future.

"The proposals for change we have shared with our staff today will help us to do that.

“Like other universities and businesses across all sectors, the backdrop to these changes has a significant financial dimension.

"The decade-long freeze in undergraduate tuition fees has reduced their value in real terms by around a third, while the increase in our costs as a result of generationally high levels of inflation has created further pressure.

"By addressing the immediate financial challenge we face, we can make the most of the opportunities available to us and continue to ensure our future sustainability and success.

“It is likely that at the end of this period, subject to the outcome of the consultation, approximately 110 colleagues will leave the University.

"We are hopeful that we can achieve the necessary changes in staff numbers through voluntary means, with compulsory redundancies only as a last resort.

“We recognise that this is a very difficult and concerning time for our staff and we will be doing all we can to support those colleagues impacted by these proposals.”