Aarhus University to lay off hundreds of employees

The university has battled heavy losses over the past few years

Hundreds of people are set to lose their jobs after financial difficulties has led Aarhus University to announce a plan to save 225 million kroner by 2016.

Between 193 and 196 university employees will be told to find new jobs at the beginning of next week, while an additional 162 will be offered a voluntary redundancy scheme. A further 42 will be offered a voluntary retirement scheme, known as a seniorordning.

“We are unfortunately faced with making about 190 employees redundant,” Brian Bech Nielsen, the head of Aarhus University, said in a press release. “That so many applied for a voluntary redundancy plan will ease the situation, but we still have to let many employees go.”

Aase Pedersen, a trade union representative for the technical and administrative employees at the university, laments the move and blames the university leadership for not acting in time.

“It’s terrible and everyone is very affected by this," Pedersen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. "I hadn’t imagined that we would let so many go, and if the leadership had provided more time for savings and for preparing redundancy plans, we could have avoided so many lay-offs.”

READ MORE: Universities blast reform delays

Long-term consequences
Per Dahl, a trade union representative for the scientific personnel, contended that the mass lay-offs will have long-term ramifications for the university.

“It’s going to hurt for a long time. Moreover, the cost-cutting will mean that there will be an underlying insecurity moving ahead,” Dahl told Jyllands-Posten. “On top of that, we will see a long period of instability because the laid off must keep working through the notice period.”

The university announced in November 2013 that it needed to save around 200 million kroner a year from 2016, and that it would immediately begin drawing up a saving plan.

The university has been battling heavy losses over the past few years, including a loss of around 100 million kroner in 2012 and 2013.




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