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Staff reject layoffs in budget proposal

Staff reps reject management's proposed budget for next year. The layoffs are unnecessary, they say

Employee representatives on the joint staff-management committee (HSU) have rejected the University’s budget last week. The surprising move came after budget discussions with management at an extraordinary HSU meeting on university finances Wednesday, 24 November.

Management’s proposal to cut 200 jobs does not square with the University of Copenhagen foreseen DKK 70 million profit forecast for 2011, staff reps say.

»We can not endorse the budget in its current form, as we are not convinced that layoffs of this magnitude are necessary,« write staff members in a brief statement as reported on the University Post’s Danish section Universitetsavisen .

University saving up

Deputy chairman of the HSU Poul Erik Krogshave says that Rector Ralf Hemmingsen proffered no information on finances that could convince employee representatives of the need for cuts.

Apart from the estimated profits for 2011, the forecast for the third quarter shows gains of DKK 84 million on the annual accounts. This means that the University’s net capital will increase to DKK 570 million in 2011 from DKK 415 million at present.

»We can only conclude that management has financial flexibility and additional resources to professional activities as a higher priority than the protection of employees’ jobs,« says Poul Erik Krogshave.

There is money there

Poul Erik Krogshave says that the employees’ refusal to support the budget should be taken seriously.

It is the first time under a new statute from 2005 that employees have felt it necessary.

»We do it because we care for both our colleagues who are threatened with dismissal, and for the working and teaching environment on campus,« he says.

The opinion of the staff representatives will be written into the briefing to the Board of Executives before a key budget meeting 9 December.

»It is our hope that the Board will loosen its grip on some of the capital. There is money in the bank for 2011,« says Poul Erik Krogshave.

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