Leicester MP criticises university’s redundancies in letter to Education Secretary

Written by Toby Cray

Leicester MP Claudia Webbe has written to the Education Secretary to express her concerns regarding the ongoing disinvestment proposals.

The proposals have faced widespread criticism across the academic world, with thousands signing petitions opposing the redundancies.

In her letter Claudia urged the government to protect livelihoods stating:

“I fear the immense human cost that would arrive with mass redundancies during such a severe economic crisis.”

The relationship with staff has become increasingly strained recently, with one staff member Dr Oz Gore resigning over the “toxic work environment.

Claudia was concerned about “lack of transparency” within the university’s restructuring plans and encouraged the government “to promote transparency and trade union involvement across the education sectors to protect livelihoods and working conditions.”

Claudia then addressed the financial problems of the University stating: “the Vice-Chancellor’s justification for the restructuring is due to the financial difficulties facing the University.”

This is something that the University has previously rejected.

The University of Leicester is yet to provide a formal response to the letter, but has provided the following statement:

“All engagement with staff and unions has been underpinned by the University’s Leading and Managing Change Principles, which were developed in consultation with, and then agreed by, the three recognised trade unions in 2018.

“The University has engaged with all key stakeholders, including the Department for Education, for our change programme.

“We understand this is a challenging time for our community, but any decisions made will ultimately be taken with the long-term interest of the University at heart, as a research-intensive institution.”

Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Twitter here

Image taken by LSM member Ollie Monk @britwithacamera

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