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Unions slam UKRI’s decision to cut communications team

The Prospect and PCS unions are calling for plans to slash roles at UK Research and Innovation’s communication team to be put on hold, arguing that they were not properly consulted on the changes.

Prospect national officer Tony Bell told Research Fortnight on 16 April that over the past year his union has engaged with UKRI on other aspects of the agency’s transformation programme, but that UKRI’s decision to reduce roles in its communications team from 134 to 102 “came as a surprise”. This is the first major structural change to emerge from the agency’s transformation programme, which aims to reduce costs and integrate the back-office functions of the nine bodies that were brought under the UKRI umbrella a year ago.

Bell is now seeking an urgent meeting with senior managers of UKRI to discuss the plans, which he said should not proceed until “proper consultation” has taken place.

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