You always know when an organisation has already decided to change something – when it announces a staff ‘consultation’. It sounds democratic, of course: ‘look at us – we are consulting our staff – aren’t we kind’. As business lecturers in FBSS will tell you, though, the meaning of the word consultation has been seriously watered down in recent times by a whole host of organisations in business, banking, retail and now – depressingly – the HE sector.
Its got to the point where it has become meaningless, a mere mask to cover real decisions that have already been made. The loss of the KU Nursery underlined this. The recent rolling out of a so-called 46-day consultation on a proposed ‘redesign’ of professional and support services across KU can only mean one thing: more job cuts and further service decline.
Professional and support services have already been chopped right down to the bone in previous ‘redesigns’, which saw a collapse in morale and the departure of really experienced and dedicated staff. Now here we go again – to shave off another £2.6m from KU’s grossly mismanaged budgets.
Here’s some quick first suggestions for the latest ‘consultation’ – the VC should return his recent pay-rise; he should stop making ultra-bland videos which nobody watches; all SLT members should have a pay freeze; no more money should be wasted on regular SLT away-days (with overnight accommodation) at their fave hotel in Great Windsor Park; an immediate freeze on trips by SLT members to Kong Kong and elsewhere should be implemented; no more subsidies to the bottomless pit of the Rose; no more slap-up meals for the Board of Governors at top eating spots; no more dosh put aside to buy up houses in Pen Road. Just these modest proposals should save a huge sum.
Do staff have their own suggestions? Post them here, or send ’em direct to Spiersey. Go on – make his day.