The recent UK Budget concerns me. I certainly think it spells major problems for where I work.
It’s not that I don’t see the Big Picture. I know that the economy is messed up, but I can’t see the proposed changes being a good thing at all. Maybe that’s to do with my job.
I work in University IT.
Back in 2007 we had a major restructure at work. So major it took a year from proposal to implementation. It was all in the interests of cutting costs. And, personally, I think we’re almost back on balance three years on. I certainly don’t see anywhere on campus that’s not struggling due to staffing levels. Admin staff were decimated. Or at least, it bloody well felt like it.
I’m sure the long-term big picture effects of it will turn out for the best. But i don’t see the higher-up view. i see things from shop-floor level. And that’s what I see with the budget. Public Sector cuts are going to have a major impact on universities. An impact I’m not sure all of them will survive. We’re not VAT exempt, and the state of technology is moving at a furious pace. And a pace that many students these days keep up with. And if we’re to keep up with them, maintaining the Student Experience, we’re going to be buying pricier kit with less funds. Fantastic.
Add in the inevitable Tuition Fee rises and the students, understandably, feel like customers. They demand a higher level of service. And, to be honest, why shouldn’t they when they’re paying for it? Problem is, we don’t see the money. Not really. They pay more, and expect more, and we get less with which to provide it.
We’re being asked to perform better with less. It’s obvious that the Chancellor’s not a techie.
And, yes, I know I’m slightly biased here.
Occupational hazard – I never trust financial types with technical decisions.
So yeah. Tough times ahead. I’m pretty sure I do earn just enough to be hit by the pay freeze. And everyone gets hit by the VAT rise. Petrol prices will rocket. Oh, and I’m trying to move house this year. Make my first steps onto the property ladder.
Good job I don’t have a history of depression, (social) anxiety and stress. Oh, wait…
The long-term big picture may indeed improve. But all I can see is no end to the nightmare. The light at the end of the tunnel has been removed for the greater good.