Cheshire news University boss dealt 'overwhelming' vote of no confidence PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Union members have written an open letter to the university governor's about the 'mismanagement' at the University of Chester

Cheshire news University boss dealt 'overwhelming' vote of no confidence PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Union members have written an open letter to the university governor's about the 'mismanagement' at the University of Chester

Cheshire news  University boss dealt 'overwhelming' vote of no confidence PremierLeague-News.Com
14 May 2021 - 11:04

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! The University of Chester's teaching union has overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence in vice chancellor Eunice Simmons. The no confidence motion passed with 94 per cent of the 158 University College Union (UCU) Chester branch members voting in favour at a branch meeting on Wednesday, May 12. The union claims the 'ball is now firmly in the vice chancellor's court' as the university continues to press ahead with its plans to make 25 compulsory redundancies. The UCU says the vote sends a 'powerful signal that 'the vice chancellor has completely lost the confidence of staff' and they do not believe in her ability to 'steer the university positively into the future'. The UCU has already hit out over the news that more than £21,000 will be spent on turning offices in the building into a flat for the university boss while staff are losing their jobs. Members were outraged that the university boss would be charged less rent than the university charges its own students for university-owned accommodation. Professor Eunice Simmons The news comes as the UCU also published an open letter to university governors asking them to intervene to stop the compulsory redundancies as well as highlighting issues of 'financial mismanagement'. The letter cites £814,000 worth of legal fees the university was forced to spend on the appeal against the closing of the Thornton Science Park - a site which failed to secure planning permission and a Health and Safety Executive ruling found students were at 'risk of death' due to its proximity to an oil refinery. It also states that despite the vice chancellor's annual salary of £284,533 she will only need to pay £552 per month in rent for her new on-campus accommodation which has cost the university more than £21,000 to refurbish. The letter states: "What is apparent is that there appears to be questions of possible financial mismanagement arising from this process that effectively leaves the staff and students paying for the reckless spending habits of the past few years. "The loss of £814,000 in legal fees over the planning application appeals for the Thornton Science Park... represents a significant amount of public money and there is no evidence that the University has taken any action over this disaster other than to issue redundancy notices to its staff. "The decision to award a salary of £284,533 to the Vice Chancellor is an insult to the public and to the staff and students.

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. A spokesperson from the UCU Chester branch said: "Members in the branch meeting spoke passionately about the deep distress of having their work and contribution to the university devalued and undermined by these completely unjustified redundancies, particularly after an extremely challenging pandemic year. "This vote is a powerful signal that the vice chancellor has completely lost the confidence of staff in her ability to steer the university positively into the future and treat staff with the dignity they have a right to expect from their employer. A protest sign at the University of Chester (Image: UGC) "This vote puts the ball firmly in the vice chancellor’s court. She must take immediate steps to restore the confidence of our members in her leadership, starting by withdrawing the threat of compulsory redundancies with immediate effect. "If the VC and her team continue on this destructive path, UCU will rule nothing out in our fight to oppose compulsory redundancies, using all our collective power as a trade union." When CheshireLive asked whether the vote and open letter will affect the university's plans, the University of Chester said 'the University's position remains unchanged'. A spokesperson for the University of Chester told CheshireLive: "The university is engaged in a constructive dialogue with UCU and Unison in collective consultation meetings, so it is surprising and disappointing that UCU has circulated widely a misleading open letter which contains inaccurate information. "This was sent to the university’s governors, who have responded immediately with unequivocal support for the University’s Strategic Executive Team, having full awareness of the true position, which has been repeatedly shared with UCU and Unison. "Currently, 24.5 posts (16.5 of which are academic out of a total of 650 academic staff) are at risk of redundancy from – as we have consistently said - a small number of departments, in which staffing levels are too high and student numbers too low, and where in some instances that has been the case for some time. "These are mostly in subject areas where there is a national pattern of under-recruitment and where other institutions are also making job cuts, as is clearly visible from the responses to Chester UCU’s social media posts from other branches at other universities. "The university understands being at risk of redundancy will be distressing for the small group of staff affected, but it has a responsibility to all its staff and all its students. "For example, yesterday was International Nurses Day and our Faculty of Health and Social Care needs the university to rebalance the workforce so that it can meet the demand from an increase of at least 40 per cent in student applications for Nursing and Midwifery programmes." Top stories from the CheshireLive newsletter Here are the latest stories from the CheshireLive newsletter Chester woman rang 999 after she woke up and could not speak 500-year-old lost masterpiece found in Cheshire - how you can see it The 16 Cheshire Oaks restaurants reopening indoors next week Five Cheshire areas where COVID infection rates are rising Masked attacker punches cyclist and steals his bike Inside the PlayDog Mansion on the market in Cheshire for £1,300,000 Want to sign up to receive these stories straight to your inbox? It's free and means you'll never miss the most important Cheshire news of the day You can sign up here Not signed up but want to try it out? You can read a preview of today's newsletter here

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