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Union calls for strike against job cuts at Manchester

Image: Mike Peel [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The University and College Union has opened a strike action ballot for staff at the University of Manchester, after the institution announced plans to cut 140 jobs.

The university has said its staff cuts were necessary because it had to “create financial headroom to invest in staff, students and facilities to effect improvements”. The university has been subject to “greater competition, reductions in public funding, exchange rate fluctuations and the potential decline in student numbers and research income”, it said in a statement to UCU.

However, the union said the university’s plan to shed 140 staff by September 2018 was not justified because of its strong financial position. The institution made a surplus of £36 million in the 2015-16 financial year and had £1.5 billion in reserves according to its financial accounts, the trade union said on 10 September.

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