University Post
University of Copenhagen
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New Humanities layoffs confirmed at the University of Copenhagen

Jobs — The Faculty of Humanities is to go through a new round of staff layoffs in April. DKK 31 million is to be cut - just on payroll.

People have had premonitions of where this was going: Now it has been confirmed. The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is to go through another round of drastic cuts.

This is according to an email circular on Wednesday 27th March to all employees at the faculty.

»It is a sad situation and a tough process for everyone – especially for the employees who lose their jobs,« it states in the e-mail.

The main reason for the cuts is the Danish government’s resizing initiative, the so-called ‘dimensioning’, leading to fewer humanities students and less money. On top of this, the faculty, just like the rest of the University of Copenhagen, is hit by the annual 2 per cent cuts in Danish government subsidies under the so-called reallocation contribution.

The faculty will, in total, see a DKK 57 million decrease in income until 2022. From this, DKK 31 million is be found on the payroll, and this means that the faculty will have to dismiss employees.

The exact number of lay offs has yet to be determined as it depends on how many vacant positions can be abolished, and how many employees choose to accept the offer of remedial measures like working fewer hours or terminating their employment under specific conditions.

Peter Birkelund Andersen, staff representative at the Faculty of Humanities, is disappointed with the prospect of new lay offs. This uncertainty is a serious problem for employees, he says.

»Cuts like these not only affect those who have to leave involuntarily. They also result in a pressured working environment. You begin to think ‘could it be me?’ and ‘is this fair?’ The frustration can be directed internally. But in this case, it is specifically directed externally. The two main reasons for the cuts are coming from the outside: The resizing of degree programmes and the reallocation contribution,« says Peter Birkelund Andersen.

»If a new financially stressful situation turns up in the future, we have to hope that the constraints can be handled voluntarily. This was how it was done previously, and you have to hope this is how it will be done again if the need arises.«

The employees at the Faculty of Humanities need to respond before the 23rd April if they are to accept the offers of remedial measures.

The University Post is trying to get a comment from the Dean Jesper Kallestrup.