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Online protests over job cuts at University of Portsmouth

23 July 2020 | last updated: 24 July 2020

Staff, students, politicians and authors will be among the protesters at an online rally today protesting against the University of Portsmouth's plans to slash jobs in its English literature department. The rally starts at 4pm and can be accessed here.

The university originally announced the redundancy plans in February, which left 11 of the 13-strong team at risk of losing their jobs. The university put the plans on hold when the coronavirus crisis began, saying it wanted to remove worry and anxiety for staff.

However, it restarted them last month, despite nothing relating to the university's work policies, or the circumstances of the affected staff, having changed. It now says it will make a final decision on Monday.

UCU said sacking teaching staff appeared at odds with the university's apparent commitment to teaching, and that larger class sizes could put its recent gold standard award for teaching excellence at risk.

Speakers at the rally will include:

  • UCU general secretary Jo Grady
  • UCU president Vicky Blake
  • Cal Corkery, Labour Councillor, Charles Dickens ward
  • Bronwen Price, Subject Area Leader, English Literature, University of Portsmouth
  • Students from English Literature department
  • Professor Greg Walker, Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, University of Edinburgh
  • Graham Hurley, author whose novels include the DI Joe Faraday books which are set in Portsmouth

 

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