Branch Passes Motion on One Professional Service Restructuring and Redundancies

14 December 2018

The following motion on the One Professional Service Restructuring and Redundancies was passed at the two SOAS UNISON Emergency Branch Meetings held on the 12 December 2018. The motion was passed unanimously by 117 – 0 across the two Branch meetings.


Motion on One Professional Service Restructuring and Redundancies

This branch notes:

1. The recent announcement of the One Professional Service restructuring proposals ;

2. That these proposals would lead to significant job losses and will have a seriously detrimental impact on the services our members provide;

3. That while cutting over £1.5 million from Professional Services staffing budgets the new structure sees an increase in senior management roles;

4. That the School appears to be taking advantage of the restructuring process to downgrade many posts in the new structure;

5. That insufficient detail relating to the structure and resultant posts has been provided to enable affected staff and the broader School community to respond to the proposals;

6. That the consultation period set aside to challenge the proposals is inadequate;

7. That senior management failed to produce a business case before putting the restructure proposal to consultation.

This branch believes:

1. That the Proposals are deeply flawed and will cause real and lasting damage to the School;

2. That the Proposals, the delay in bringing them forward and the now breakneck speed in which the consultation process is being conducted is causing great stress and has been massively damaging for morale amongst Professional Services staff;

3. That staff are being asked to make important decisions about their futures with insufficient information and time;

4. That the proposals as they currently stand raise the very real danger that we will be faced with compulsory redundancies;

This branch resolves:

1. To support those members affected by the restructuring in whatever way we can;

2. To oppose all job losses and to reaffirm our total commitment to opposing compulsory redundancies;

3. To demand that SOAS makes a binding commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies;

4. In the event that SOAS does not give such a commitment by 10 January 2019, to immediately invoke the Collective Disputes procedure;

5. In the event of the Collective Disputes procedure being triggered, to instruct the SOAS UNISON Branch Executive to begin the process of preparing for industrial action if any compulsory redundancies are announced or are imminent;

a. This would involve holding a branch wide consultative ballot early in 2019

b. Liaising with London Region UNISON and the national UNISON Industrial Action Committee to ensure that we are in a position to take lawful industrial action in accordance with UNISON rules relating to industrial action before any potential compulsory redundancies would be effective.

6. To call on the SOAS UNISON Branch Executive to initiate the process leading to a motion of no confidence in members of senior management for their responsibility in bringing about the School’s current low undergraduate student intake by putting in place a strategy without due regard for the School’s financial situation, and to demand their immediate resignation.