North West Wales

170 Bangor University jobs at risks to save £8.5m

Bangor University Image copyright Google

Up to 170 jobs are thought to be at risk at Bangor University as it looks to save £8.5m.

Officials are talking to unions, including Unison, about proposals, such as reducing the working week to avoid redundancies.

A spokesman said a "wide-ranging review" was looking at addressing "significant financial issues" set to arise in the coming years.

Unison said the university's financial strategy appeared "unrealistic".

It is not yet clear which jobs would be affected if redundancies were made.

Vice chancellor John G Hughes said since the review started in 2016, it has suffered further funding cuts and £8.5m will need to be saved to "ensure that the university can meet the challenges it faces".

He added: "Over the next few weeks and months a comprehensive series of steps will be adopted in order to make the necessary savings."

'Threatened their families' livelihoods'

But Geoff Edkins, from Unison, said university staff were "alarmed" at the apparent state of its finances.

"They are angry that management of the university has put their jobs at risk and threatened their families' livelihoods," he added.

"We must protect the quality and breadth of student learning and support at the university and Unison doesn't see how the university's proposals will do that. At best, the financial strategy of Bangor appears unrealistic."

Mr Edkins said: "One idea the trade unions have put forward is to sell the grace-and-favour property bought for the vice chancellor and which is scarcely used. We believe this could net the university £1m straight away.

"Staff are due to meet to consider the university's proposals and we believe they will be thrown out. If implemented, they would force staff who are already low paid, into poverty."

The announcement follows similar moves by institutions around Wales.

On Tuesday, the University of South Wales said it had "minimised" job losses after announcing in March 139 jobs could go in a bid to balance rising costs with an anticipated reduction in students due to Brexit.

In May, Aberystwyth University said up to 150 positions "could be at risk" as it tried to make cuts of £11.4m while University of Wales Trinity Saint David asked staff to consider voluntary redundancy.

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