Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 17:06 UK

Lecturers protest at uni job cuts

Lampeter University
Lampeter University said it was facing increased pay costs

Placard-waving university lecturers in Ceredigion have staged a protest over planned job cuts.

Staff at Lampeter University have also warned that they may take strike action unless proposals for compulsory redundancies are dropped.

It is understood a few members of staff have already agreed to take voluntary redundancy.

The university said it was facing increased pay costs and a small number of employees could be made redundant.

Up to 25 lecturers shouting "save our jobs" took part in the demonstration.

Their trade union, the University and College Union (UCU), claimed the university had not engaged staff in "meaningful consultation" over the planned redundancies.

'Last resort'

UCU regional official Barry Johnson said: "The university's council must show real leadership and reject any proposals of compulsory redundancy, and insist that the university fulfils its legal obligations to undertake meaningful consultation aimed at avoiding redundancies.

"Failure to do so will inevitably result in calls from our members at Lampeter for a ballot on industrial action - something nobody involved with the university wants to see."

The university confirmed it had formed a redundancy committee.

A spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately a voluntary severance scheme and the scrutiny of all vacancies has not achieved the savings necessary to achieve a sustainable budget in line with the university's strategic plan for the next year."

She added: "As a last resort, the compulsory redundancy of a small number of staff may have to be considered.

"The university is facing a significant increase in its pay costs in the next academic year, estimated to be between 13% and 15%, following recent pay increases awarded to staff and the introduction of a new pay framework."

Meanwhile, the UCU said the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales was expected to criticise senior management at the university in a forthcoming report.

In response, the university said it was "unable to comment" about the "draft and confidential" report.

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