UK

National Union of Students cuts half of staff over financial woes

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The National Union of Students has confirmed it has cut 54 jobs in response to its "financial issues".

The union also said it employs "roughly half the number of staff it did this time last year", although it didn't reveal the exact size of its workforce.

The NUS said it offered voluntary redundancy to reduce staffing costs "in a way that provided a positive exit" for those involved.

It was reportedly facing bankruptcy after making a loss of £3.6m in 2017.

The NUS, which had a turnover of £24.1m, also revealed in its last financial statement that it owed £1.8m in bank loans and had a pensions liability of £12.2m.

The Guardian reported in November that the NUS told members of serious financial problems, and that it would look at cutting staff, reducing its activity and mortgaging its London headquarters.

Fifteen staff left the union at the end of December, the NUS said, and the remaining 39 would leave between January and May.

An 'emotional' time

An NUS statement said: "In response to the financial issues we faced last year, we proposed a staff voluntary redundancy scheme which launched on 19 November and closed on 12 December.

"By providing colleagues with choice, in what is a difficult and emotional time for all of us, our intention was to reduce our staffing costs in a way that provided a positive exit for those whose applications were accepted."

The NUS, whose highest paid employee earns between £90,000 and £100,000, is made up of more than 600 students' unions, representing seven million further and higher education students in the UK.

In its financial statement the organisation said it had made "great strides over the last seven years to diversify our revenue streams".

Its student discount card - called a TOTUM card which costs £12 a year - accounts for 40% of its revenue, it said.

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