MPs challenge University of Bradford job losses plan

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Unison is to ballot members at the university about industrial action over job losses

Plans by the University of Bradford to make 165 staff redundant have been challenged by the city's three MPs.

Redundancies of about 10% of university staff were announced by the vice chancellor, Prof Brian Cantor in June.

Labour MPs Imran Hussain, Judith Cummins and Naz Shah have co-signed a letter criticising the potential job losses and their economic effect.

The university said: "Consultation with staff has been ongoing since the beginning of June".

The proposed job cuts come during a decrease in applications from the UK and changes to the government's funding arrangements, said Prof Cantor.

The MPs' letter to Prof Cantor said: "It has been brought to our attention that the university has imposed a stringently short time frame for the process of compulsory redundancies, with just a matter of a few months between making staff aware and the start of the first round of redundancies."

The letter expresses economic concerns and also warns the job losses would damage confidence among businesses and investors.

'Huge mistake'

Unison is to ballot members at the university about industrial action over the plans.

Leonie Sharp, Unison organiser, said: "Management says the job losses are related to the financial position of the university and a fall in student numbers. It is a short-term cost-cutting proposal.

"It is a huge mistake to damage the university's quality when it should be ensuring the highest standards to attract students."

A university spokesperson said over the last four years it had "kept its share of student numbers despite a declining national market".

It was "a high-performing university recognised for the quality of its teaching and with impressive levels of graduate employability", they added.

The university has about 1,650 staff and 9,800 students studying for the 2017/18 academic year.

The redundancies are principally of non-academic staff, according to the university.

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