A YORK university has asked staff to consider a form of voluntary redundancy as part of a package of measures meant to protect its finances.

The University of York, which, like all universities, is primarily funded by tuition fees and accommodation charges, has moved to shore up its finances in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among measures staff are being asked to consider are ‘voluntary severance’ and ‘voluntary severance with retirement’ and senior staff - including vice chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, are taking a pay cut.

A spokesman for the university said: “We have moved quickly to put into place a number of mitigations to protect our financial position, with two guiding principles - protecting jobs wherever possible, and consideration of the well-being of our staff and students.

“These mitigations include voluntary measures such as voluntary severance and voluntary severance with retirement, which we are asking staff to consider in the context of their own individual preferences and personal circumstances.

“In addition, the vice chancellor is taking a voluntary salary reduction of 20 per cent, initially for a six month period from August 1 this year, and all other members of the university executive board are also taking voluntary salary reductions of up to 20 per cent over this period.

“We are extremely grateful to our staff and students for their commitment and understanding as we navigate through these challenges.”

A voluntary severance payment is any payment in connection with a mutually agreed and voluntary early departure from employment.

Severance is not a legal word, but employers usually give it the same meaning as redundancy.