Job concerns over St Andrews University catering shake-up catering shake-up

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ST ANDREWS University bosses have defended plans to implement changes to the residential catering services despite criticisim of the move from some staff and students.

The university say they are conducting a review of the service as a result of repeated requests from students for improvements.

And they say any changes that take place will not be to cut costs and that overall staff numbers will not be reduced.

But one worker, who declined to be identified, has told the Citizen that staff morale is very low as a result of the review and many fear they are about to lose their jobs.

“Some of us were given 90 days notice that our jobs could be at risk of redundancy and now we have been told there will be redundancies,” he said.

“Some of the staff have been put on a management course and the fear is that is being used to asses whether or not staff get to keep their jobs.“

‘‘All of these changes are apparently as a result of surveys that say the service isn’t up to scratch, but we don’t hear many complaints from the students and I fear they will not get the same standard of food once the changes are made.”

It also claimed that staff have been told that those who remain will switch from receiving monthly salaries to being paid during term time only.

A voluntary severance scheme, including early retirement, was introduced for all staff who were informed their post was at risk of redundancy. The closing date for the scheme was last Friday.

The university say they are responding to surveys that consistently show that students want changes and improvements to the catering service.

A spokesman said: “The university is in full discussions with our staff and trades unions and no decisions will be taken until a 90-day period of consultation has been completed in mid-June.

“The review has the single aim of improving the catering service to the university’s students in line with their repeated requests and expectations. The overall number of staff and the hours devoted to the student catering service will not be the subject of any reduction.

“It is a matter of great regret that a very small number of individuals have chosen to misrepresent the facts and this process to some of our students and to the media.”