We knew this was coming a couple of weeks ago, but that won’t soften the blow for the 100+ UEA staff whose jobs are going and the hundreds of others denied a pay rise as prices and housing costs soar.
Support staff are being hit especially hard. Their jobs make up the vast majority of those that are being slashed and because the university has backtracked on bringing in the real living wage, they will face a substantial real-terms pay cut.
Arts and humanities staff are bearing the brunt of academic cuts, with 31 of the 36 academic redundancies in those departments. The human cost of this is bad enough, but where’s the sense in taking the axe to two areas that UEA is most renowned and celebrated for?
Time and time again, staff have gone to great lengths to explain why this outcome wasn’t inevitable. They’ve told me about failed projects, fantastical income and student number projections, management control freakery and how UEA has been doing worse than its peers for ages.
Staff simply can’t understand why so many people who crashed the car have still got the keys. Or why those at the top on more than £100k won’t even show a bit of solidarity by agreeing to a pay cut.
If you add up the number of current and past students, staff and their families, almost half of us in Norwich are connected somehow to the UEA. When the UEA is cut, our whole city bleeds.
We need a plan for growing UEA, not cutting our way out.