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Important: update on Phase-1 cost saving measures

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The following message was sent to all colleagues from Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort, RUCU President Sally Pellow and Staff Forum Deputy Chair John Jack.

Dear colleagues,

Representatives of the University Executive Board (UEB), the UCU and the Staff Forum met on 1 February 2021, in accordance with the agreement we reached last year, to review the University's financial position pertaining to Phase 1.

As you know the University had identified a significant potential short-fall over a three-year period as a direct consequence of the COVID 19 pandemic. Colleagues made it clear during extensive consultations that they, like the UEB, the UCU and the Staff Forum, did not want redundancies to be a part of the solution to the COVID 19 induced short-fall so we had agreed a number of cost-saving measures that could be implemented if necessary, including one year of tiered pay cuts and a three-year pay freeze.

It was recognised that the cost saving measures, especially the tiered pay cuts, would require all colleagues to make significant sacrifices, so it was further agreed that the financial situation would be regularly reviewed and the tiered pay cuts implemented only when it became absolutely necessary.

Thanks to a lot of hard work across the whole University we are pleased to note that the predicted financial position has improved. For that reason the tiered pay cuts scheduled for this calendar year will not now be necessary.

We agreed however that we must not become complacent. The impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time yet. Measures such as the three-year pay freeze, the recruitment freeze and restrictions on travel will remain in place as we continue to address the financial consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic. Student recruitment remains of critical importance and is difficult to accurately predict. Should recruitment suffer significantly from an unexpected consequence of the COVID pandemic, causing further serious erosion of the University's finances, a general short-term pay cut is something we still cannot fully rule out.

We are committed to reviewing the financial position regularly, and with this in mind we will meet again on Monday 24 May 2021.

For now the key outcome from this review is the good news that the proposed pay cuts scheduled for this calendar year will not be necessary.

We are grateful to all of you for the work you have done and the sacrifices you have been prepared to make to ensure that we get through the challenges arising from the pandemic successfully. 


Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor

Sally Pellow, President RUCU

John Jack, Deputy Chair Staff Forum

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