University 'Time Team' unit given reprieve from closure

A THREATENED university archaeology unit, which featured on TV show Time Team, has been given a reprieve.

Glasgow University had proposed axing Guard (Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division) in a cost-saving exercise which included redundancies early this year.

Lecturers voted to strike over this issue and another proposal to cut 80 jobs across various departments.

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A meeting of the university's ruling court yesterday concluded the unit would be given until December to see if it can be saved.

Alternative options such as it running as a commercial enterprise, independent of the university, are expected to be explored.

The University and College Union (UCU) welcomed the announcement.

Mary Senior, UCU Scottish official, said: "This is a clear victory for UCU. Glasgow University management must now consult with the unions and properly consider all the options. You cannot just try and force through unnecessary and punitive job cuts.

"UCU got a clear mandate for industrial action from its members, but now that the court has listened to staff, strike action should not be required. The university could have avoided the threat of disruption – and a vote of no confidence in the principal – by acting reasonably from the start. "

A spokesman for the university said: "After today's meeting of the University of Glasgow Court, we can confirm that there will be no compulsory redundancies in either the Faculty of Education or the Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences.

"We are pleased that the savings in each faculty have been achieved through voluntary measures."