Nuclear union urges support for science jobs


Nuclear union urges support for science jobs

Prospect has expressed deep disappointment at the announcement that a leading West Cumbria scientific research and consultancy has appointed an administrator.

The union has warned that moves to wind-up Westlakes Scientific Consultancy (WSC) could result in the loss of up to 65 highly-skilled jobs and denude Cumbria’s nuclear industry of advice and expertise.

Prospect negotiator Gill Wood said: “This is bad for Westlakes, bad for staff and bad for the nuclear industry.

Not least because the company provides occupational health and absence management services to the industry and undertakes valuable epidemiology and environmental research, monitoring the impact of the operations at nuclear installations across the region on the health outcomes of the workforces and the impact on the environment."

The union, she said, was doing all it could to protect jobs and support WSC’s staff – the majority of whom are Prospect members – and is seeking a meeting with the administrator to discuss efforts to try secure the future of parts of the business.

But she warned that if efforts to save parts of WSC failed it would come as a double blow for staff not covered by enhanced redundancy terms afforded to colleagues who transferred to the business from the former British Nuclear Fuels plc.

“We are calling on the University of Central Lanchashire (UCLan), as a strategic partner of WSC, to meet their moral obligations and ensure all staff receive more than the very basic statutory terms.”

Prospect is also writing to Copeland MP Jamie Reed to ask him to assist.

WSC specialises in the areas of genetics, epidemiology, environmental science and policy studies.

It is the commercial arm of the Westlakes Research Institute, the academic and research and development centre behind the Westlakes Science and Technology Park, an innovative partnership formed in the 1980s between local government and industry designed to encourage highly skilled jobs connected to the nuclear industry within the area and revitalise West Cumbria.