Dear Professor Lu,
Thank you for your response to the UCU Open Letter, which the University forwarded to our Regional Official on 11th March. We would also like to thank your team for a positive and frank JNCC meeting.
In response to your letter, firstly, Surrey UCU does not consider the ‘further financial information’ that was provided on the 4th March as sufficient. As a world-leading institution, pioneering evidence-based research and teaching, the University Senior Management will understand what is meant by granular, detailed data, which the trade unions have repeatedly requested. Simple pie charts and graphs without substantive background data are not sufficient evidence to justify potential staff cuts. For staff to have confidence, greater and better data need to be produced.
Secondly, it would be helpful if you could clarify what you consider to be ‘full and meaningful consultation’. Providing a series of briefings for trade unions, where suggestions or recommendations are not incorporated into University planning, does not constitute consultation. An example of this is strikingly illustrated by your reference to asking trade union committees to endorse the EVS scheme, a request which took place four days before opening this scheme to all staff across the University, without time to consult union members or recommend alterations.
We urgently request that you review and revise the nature of the consultations between University of Surrey Senior Management and the three campus trade unions. We look forward to assurances and action on your part. In the event that there is no alteration, Surrey UCU will vigorously and publicly oppose assertions that genuine consultation has taken place, or that University of Surrey has provided figures that constitute a proper business case.
For the absolute avoidance of doubt all three campus unions oppose compulsory redundancies. Therefore, we request, notwithstanding our disagreement with the business case presented, a reopening of the EVS scheme, should the current scheme not yield sufficient savings. Allied to this, joint working on non-staff cost saving measures including the use of consultants, University Executive Board pay and current business ventures and partnerships.
We look forward to a prompt, positive response from yourself.
Surrey UCU Committee
With formal support from