At least one third of Physiotherapy staff proposed for redundancy, as University management announces next round of ‘redundancies-by-review’.
University of Birmingham senior management recently announced what it viewed as an “exciting opportunity” that will see two-thirds of Physiotherapy posts moved to the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Unfortunately, this will also mean that at least one-third of the staff are being proposed for redundancy. Echoing some of the poor practices witnessed in the case of the IAA, this comes at the end of a three-year internal review which has been a source of enduring stress for staff, little information has been provided by management throughout the review, and indeed staff have been forced to submit ‘Freedom of Information’ applications to obtain reports that have been written about them whilst it was being carried out.
The threat of redundancy to one-third of the staff is shocking, disappointing and short-sighted. It is of particular concern because of the widespread success of the courses that are provided in Physiotherapy. Indeed, despite constant attrition in staff numbers and the failure to provide appropriate management, the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy programme as delivered by current staff has received a point score rating by the Strategic Health Authority which is above all other similar programmes within the West Midlands. The NSS survey, even with all its associated problems, rates the undergraduate programme second in the Russell Group.
The threat of redundancy is directly affecting 24 members of academic staff and severely undermining efforts and striking an atmosphere of fear.
Reductions in staff numbers and increase staff-student ratios will be bad for teaching quality, especially in a professional programme.
The proposal appears to have failed to properly consider the number of staff required to perform all of the teaching in the department.
BUCU will be actively campaigning against these proposed redundancies, which it believes is part of a systematic attempt to reduce and destabilise staff across the University, through a systematic process of ‘redundancies-by-review’.
More details on what will be a strong campaign to challenge these compulsory redundancies to follow.