Round of redundancies at the Faculty of Technical Sciences (TECH) is now over – the faculty has cut 80 positions

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It’s confirmed that in total 80 positions have been affected due to the redundancies at TECH, which have affected public sector consultancy the most. The dean clarified that fewer than 30 staff members have been made redundant.

2021.06.28 | Marie Groth Andersen

Eskild Holm Nielsen, dean at the Faculty of Technical Sciences. Archive photo: Melissa B.K. Yildirim

There were warnings back in March that the redundancies at TECH would affect public sector consultancy the most. The faculty had to make cuts of DKK 70 million in total, of which DKK 50 million was to be cut from public sector consultancy, while DKK 20 million was to be cut from engineering. As a result, the majority of the positions lost at the departments come from public sector consultancy. The faculty has now published the final figures for positions affected by the cuts. In total, about 80 positions have been affected. Of these, 44 staff members have either been made redundant or have accepted voluntary resignation. 32 of the 44 were employed within public sector consultancy, six were employed within engineering and six were employed at the administrative centre. The remaining positions, approximately 36, concerned employees who have agreed to senior contracts, have reduced their hours, have resigned or have been reassigned to other areas, as well as positions that will remain unfilled. It is not clear from the calculations provided by the faculty how these positions were distributed across the departments.

Budget cuts at TECH:

The following figures cover employees, who have been made redundant or have accepted voluntary resignation.

  • Department of Agroecology: 10
  • Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering: 1
  • Department of Bioscience: 8
  • Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering: 2
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: 3
  • Department of Animal Science: 6
  • Department of Environmental Science: 8
  • The Nat-Tech Administrative Centre (FSU): 6

Total: 44 positions

In total, 80 positions were affected by the budget cuts because there were also staff members who resigned or who accepted voluntary senior contracts, reduced their hours or relocated to another position. In addition, there are positions that will remain unfilled.

Source: The Faculty of Technical Sciences

About 30 employees have been made redundant

The Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen explained that they were able to reduce the number of redundancies to fewer than 30, because it was possible to reassign members of staff to other positions at the university, come to agreements on voluntary resignations or other so-called measures to prevent redundancies. But he made no secret of the fact that it would result in consequences for the faculty, now that 80 positions have been lost.

”Unfortunately, the budget cuts have both human and organisational consequences. The local managements have a lot of work on their plates in terms of prioritising tasks in the future,” said Eskild Holm Nielsen.

The dean stressed that currently at the faculty the books are balanced, but that the management team must continue to keep on track when it comes to keeping down costs, for example, with building operations. 

”Here, the relocation of the Department of Bioscience from Kalø and Silkeborg to Aarhus will benefit the faculty and the department financially,” said Eskild Holm Nielsen. 

Financial outlook four to five years ahead

He explained that the financial situation at the faculty is organised in such a way that the management team, with the requirements that are known today, can plan four to five years ahead.

”And the picture here shows healthy and balanced finances,” said Eskild Holm Nielsen.

Something that according to the dean may give rise to concern is the government’s proposal to relocate some study programmes, which could mean that the university has to cut its intake by up to 10 per cent. 

”But we have to wait for the proposal to be fleshed out,” said the dean.

The reallocation contribution must go

The Dean’s office is looking to Christiansborg (‘the Danish parliament’), where the politicians must finalise an agricultural budget agreement and a new Finance Act in the near future. Management as well as staff members at the faculty are following both developments earnestly, as public sector consultancy continues to be subjected to the reallocation contribution of 2 per cent annually. Therefore, several employees have stated that they fear another round of redundancies within the foreseeable future, if the politicians don’t remove the reallocation contribution. And the dean is aware of their concerns.

”The employees are working hard the way things are now, and tasks are being prioritised and operationalised. It would mean a lot to remove this reallocation contribution. We have also made great efforts to highlight this issue with the politicians, both from the employee side and from the management side,” said Eskild Holm Nielsen.

In that regard, he explained that the faculty has held conferences with members of parliament and that many of them, also including ministers, had visited the departments in Foulum and Roskilde. In August, the Minister for Environment and Food will also visit, noted Eskild Holm Nielsen.

”I believe that we’ve done everything we can to emphasise to politicians that the funding for the research which will support the green transition should be increased rather than cut,” said the dean.

Budget cuts at TECH:

The following figures cover employees, who have been made redundant or have accepted voluntary resignation.

  • Department of Agroecology: 10
  • Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering: 1
  • Department of Bioscience: 8
  • Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering: 2
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: 3
  • Department of Animal Science: 6
  • Department of Environmental Science: 8
  • The Nat-Tech Administrative Centre (FSU): 6

Total: 44 positions

In total, 80 positions were affected by the budget cuts because there were also staff members who resigned or who accepted voluntary senior contracts, reduced their hours or relocated to another position. In addition, there are positions that will remain unfilled.

Source: The Faculty of Technical Sciences

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