Hampshire & Isle of Wight

University of Portsmouth staff protest over science job cuts

University of Portsmouth protest on 10 July 2019
Image caption UCU said it would be difficult to avoid a strike action ballot if redundancies were compulsory

Staff at the University of Portsmouth have staged a further protest over planned job cuts.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) gathered outside the St Andrew's Court building in the city ahead of a board of governors meeting.

The union wants governors to use their influence to halt cuts to the faculty of science where it fears up to 50 jobs could be lost.

The university said the changes would make the faculty "more sustainable".

UCU said it wanted the university to rule out compulsory job cuts and, instead, implement a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Regional official Moray McAulay said: "If the University of Portsmouth does not rule out compulsory redundancies then it is difficult to see how we can avoid a ballot for strike action amongst UCU members."

A similar protest was staged at the start of June.

At the time, the university said the equivalent of 34 full-time posts would be cut which would affect up to 65 people.

It said the popularity of some subjects in the faculty had declined, despite efforts to recruit adequate student numbers.

When contacted about the latest protest, a university spokeswoman said the number of posts being cut remained "provisional", adding: "We will be in a position to give a statement on numbers come 25 July."

The faculty has about 400 staff in total.

Image caption The union said cutting experienced staff risked damaging the university's reputation

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