UCU members meet outside in

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Staff at Heriot-Watt University are today lobbying members of its governing body in a row over compulsory redundancies at the School of Textiles based at the Galashiels campus.

The lobby takes place at 12.30pm outside the main reception of the Edinburgh (Riccarton) campus where members of the court – the governing body of the university – are being asked to approve a five-year plan for the school, which includes cuts in staff and compulsory redundancies by the end of August.

The cuts would remove up to 10 full-time posts, which represents 25% of the workforce. The union says the losses, at the second oldest textile institution in the world dating back to 1883, would have a severe impact on Galashiels, whose limited economy is reliant on textile production.

The union believes the school has been penalised by the university in an unfair allocation of Scottish student numbers and funding due to the changes brought about by the introduction of fees for rest of UK students.

UCU Scottish official Mary Senior said: “Following the Scottish Government’s commitment to higher education in the budget, we question the need for compulsory redundancies. These cuts would have a severe impact on Galashiels in terms of job losses, but also because textiles are so important to the local economy.

“The textile college merged with Heriot-Watt to help it survive, but the university appears to now be attempting to cut jobs rather than develop the staff.”


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