Response to staff redundancies across the University and Colleges

CN: redundancy, precarity, furlough

SUPPORTING STAFF BEING MADE REDUNDANT ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGES

Key information:

  1. Queens’ College is planning 32 staff redundancies: https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/19804

  2. Sign and share our open letter in support of the #DemandSafeCambridge Campaign, demanding that no staff will lose their job as a result of the pandemic: https://tinyurl.com/y4lvwmjf

  3. Cambridge Justice for Workers Campaign Information Hub: https://tinyurl.com/y2kuz39u

  4. Message @Alice SU on facebook to be added to the Queens’ College workers organising group

  5. Get in touch with your college demanding no staff lose their job as a result of COVID-19.

It has come to light today that Queens’ College is planning on making huge redundancies, stating the financial pressures of COVID as a reason for these job cuts. Many of these workers are clearly holding the College together, cooking, cleaning, maintaining and preparing for the return of an increased amount of students, and the SU stands in solidarity with all those staff affected.

One of our key demands for the #DemandSafeCambridge campaign was that no worker would lose their job as a result of the pandemic, and we will be working with workers’ unions over the coming weeks to hold the university and Colleges to account over this demand (https://tinyurl.com/y4lvwmjf). Additionally, this comes as the Government’s Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) is being decreased to 70% in September and 60% in October. Cambridge is a city where the cost of living is extortionately high, with rents dramatically increasing year on year. It is therefore imperative that the University and Colleges commit to topping up the Furlough by 30% in September and 40% in October, while supporting all their workers throughout the difficulties of a global pandemic.  

The University’s Living Wage Campaign has also just re-branded as the Cambridge University Justice For Workers campaign. Alongside this re-branding, they have launched an Information Hub for any non-academic worker in the University and Colleges, with information on workers’ rights, legal advice, University protocol, local support, Trade Union Contacts and a request form for facemasks. It has also been translated into Spanish and will be translated into Polish soon. The form can be found here, please pass on to anyone who may find it useful: https://tinyurl.com/y2kuz39u.

Although we have heard about the Queens’ redundancies, there may be other Colleges planning similar redundancies. If you are a student at Cambridge, please do get in touch with your College, demanding they do not make any job cuts at a time where many workers’ lives have been hugely affected by the pandemic already. If you would like support with reaching out to your College, please get in touch with your J/MCR, the SU, or the Justice for Workers Campaign (https://tinyurl.com/y2f774uf). If you’re a Queens’ student and would like to get involved in mobilizing against job cuts there, message @Alice SU to join the Queens’ Solidarity Campaign group.

Now is a time to organise and unionise for workers’ justice in Cambridge - workers and students united will never be defeated.