This Union Notes:
1.1 That the School is currently going through a process of financial and institutional restructuring under the One Professional Service (OPS) project.
1.2 That all current permanent staff were supposed to hear about their particular role in the new structure by Monday, 18th March 2019, and that at the time of writing, some staff members have still not received their outcome letters or had one-to-one meetings, while the ones who did were given such information later than what it was promised.
1.3 That both trade unions at SOAS (UNISON and UCU) consider that SOAS management have shown a complete and insulting disregard for the wellbeing of staff, enhanced by their lack of clarity and sensitivity when dealing with the OPS restructuring process, especially when it directly affects people’s lives and jobs at its current stage
1.4 That there are high possibilities of compulsory redundancies happening according to the last information released by SOAS management, despite unions’ firm opposition and previous indication that industrial action would be taken in such case.
1.5 That some, among many others, of the concerns raised by staff are linked to the following:
1.5.1 There’s a prediction of 30-40 people being made redundant and losing their jobs;
1.5.2 109 permanent staff have not been “matched” in the new restructure, meaning that their current jobs do no longer exist in the current proposed structure and they have not been suggested another post to take over;
1.5.3 There is a concerning and unexplainable asymmetry with regards to the members of staff whose job descriptions have been matched in the new structure (e.g. 3 male members of staff in a department being “matched” in the new structure, while female staff are still waiting for an answer).
1.5.4 the Widening Participation team is proposed to merge with Marketing, Student Recruitment and Admissions, under the justification 'to align the Student Ambassador Schemes'. Despite prior agreement by Executive Board to propose WP merged with Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching (CILT), such concerning changes are being proposed, leading to WP staff “seeking [student] support in ensuring the department which drives change in access, student success, outcomes and progression is not relegated to a marketing and recruitment tool.”
1.6 That the possibility of industrial action seems highly likely considering the current trajectory management is on, as they have acted recklessly by not entering into meaningful discussions with UNISON and staff members to resolve the situation.
1.7 That such industrial action, considering current legislation, would lead to staff strikes during exam period, which could then hinder students from sitting their exams and/or even graduating.