Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Statement to remuneration committee

The recent financial crisis at LMU has resulted in a mass reduction in staff, services and resources. Thus causing substantial reviews across the university that are due to take place in academic year 2010/11. One of these reviews addresses the pay and reward scheme currently in operation. The PRP scheme alone which is paid out to approximately 200 senior members of staff currently costs the university around £1m per annum. This is not considered to be a productive avenue of expenditure and therefore should be suspended with immediate effect to prevent any further financial wastage.

Such wastage in the present economic climate along with LMU’s current financial position is unacceptable. The number of student facing staff has been massively reduced causing a negative impact on the students. However, student numbers are still over 25,000. Departments have been merged and reduced having a significant impact on the operations of the university, its facilities, students and staff. We are also concerned that the hygiene standards at LMU have greatly deteriorated since the cleaning services have been outsourced. If LMU can afford to spend around £1m on PRP, why can they not afford good hygiene?

The financial expenditure that has been allocated to staff bonuses could be better utilised. For instance, providing an increase in the wage of those staff currently receiving the minimum wage thus bringing their salary in line with the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour. Such an increase would improve staff morale resulting in improved quality of services delivered to LMU, as opposed to causing animosity or creating a class division amongst the staff members by wasting money on awards for already highly paid staff.

Ordinarily a business or organisation which has undergone significant change (as has happened at LMU) the management structure is generally de-layered. This involves reducing senior roles and/or reducing the number of pay grades and salary ranges to create a cost effective, productive management structure that fits the new shape of the organisation. This would be the logical move for LMU.

Met SU, UCU and UNISON fully support the remuneration review and requests that all staff bonus schemes be suspended with immediate effect pending review. We also request that the case for paying the minimum Living Wage to those staff members receiving the minimum pay rate be heard and taken into consideration at the review. Finally, we request that the LMU management structure including at faculty level also be reviewed in the coming academic year.

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