Members ‘disappointed and frustrated’ at OU closures decision

Open University council approves plan to close seven regional offices and put 500 staff at risk

UNISON members are left “disappointed and frustrated” after the Open University confirmed plans to close seven regional offices, putting 500 staff at risk.

The union was told late yesterday that the university council had approved the closure plans, despite opposition from staff, the university senate and a petition signed by thousands.

““Members are incredibly disappointed and frustrated by this decision,” said UNISON Open University branch secretary Kym Gosling, as 500 university staff across the UK are left with question marks hanging over their futures.

Ms Gosling added that staff believe the decision “goes against the very core values that the Open University was built around.

“Many of our members made life-long career decisions to work at the university because they believed in what it stood for and were proud to come into work every day.

“Our fear has always been that this decision will ultimately have an impact to the service to students.”

Area organiser Mark Pannowitz said UNISON “will continue to work together to ensure that everyone is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve during this very difficult period.

“We are in discussions with our members about what they believe are the most appropriate next steps.”