NORTH CAMPUS: Tuesday 24th
1-2pm Graduate Centre, Room: GCG-08
Liz Lawrence, UCU President will be speaking
CITY CAMPUS Wednesday 25th
12-1pm Moorgate, Room: MG1-02
Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary will be speaking
* note the change of time/venue
Staff and students will be utterly appalled by the recent announcement that the university intends to slash a further 165 jobs.
UNISON and UCU stand firmly against these damaging cuts – we say: enough is enough!
The kind of cuts foreseen are enough to virtually destroy entire Faculties.
The University has said they will make compulsory redundancies – a red line for both our unions.
And they wish to do this in the minimum time frame of just 45 days and during the Easter holiday period.
This disruption to people’s lives, putting people’s future at risk in such a rushed and stressful way is unacceptable.
The scale of the threat to entire areas is unforgivable and we cannot see how a certain Dean can look their own staff in the eye and justify these cuts given their own responsibility for the strategy that led to such a drastic decline in student numbers.
Equally, the devastating loss of our overseas students in 2012 is entirely the fault of the reckless leadership of senior management – from the Governors down to the Executive Group.
We cannot accept the same senior management team demanding we pay the price for their catastrophic decisions.
We have seen redundancies every year since 2009, when they proposed 550 job cuts. Large numbers of S188 redundancies followed, in 2011, 2012, and again in 2013.
This ongoing slashing of jobs will mean the spiral of decline continues and the very future of the university will be threatened. Most galling, the very managers who got us into this mess are the same people now deciding whose jobs to cut while continuing to implement their own failed strategies.
Circulate our open letter to Students:
From Mark Campbell, UCU:
In a very recent faculty school staff meeting the vice-chancellor said a couple of things you may wish to spend some time considering.
Firstly, in reference to a comment about how our management-engendered UKBA crisis had placed the university in its current predicament, he said that it was a mistake to suggest ‘simple’ reasons to complex problems. I very much doubt any of us would disagree with that. However, what doesn’t seem to have quite registered with this new VC, as it didn’t with his predecessors, is the corollary: ‘simple’ answers to complex problems are also a mistake. And, unfortunately, for the vast majority of current (and, sadly, recent) staff those ‘simple’ solutions have had a disastrously negative effect that has exasperated rather than solved our ‘complex’ problems. Specifically, job cuts, course cuts, and speed ups, have not reversed our declining student numbers they have furthered that decline. Therefore, perhaps it’s time for our Vice-chancellors to execute a self-limiting ordnance and resist the temptation to simply ‘do something’ when our own history has already proved that that ‘something’ has always made our situation worse, and the spiral down has continued. When in a hole, there has to come a point when you stop digging further and instead invest in a strategy (thinking time) in order to devise the best way to climb out. We could, for simplicities sake, call that an ‘investment strategy’. Let’s face it, we simply can’t keep cutting our staff in the completely illusory hope of increasing our income by doing so. It simply doesn’t add up.
Secondly, in reference to his first point, he said the feeling of despondency (‘negativity’ he called it) was palpable throughout London Met. Specifically, he said we don’t have the ‘buzz’ associated with the sort of university we really needed to be (and I’m sure we’d all want to be). He agreed that the Staff Experience Survey (SES) reflected that. Though, he didn’t pick up on the point made by many of us on previous occasions, that the 19 well-paid members of his Executive Group where completely, and (according to the independent survey consultants they hired) statistically significantly at odds on every survey category compared to the rest of the university staff in their own ‘contentment’ (let’s call it ‘positivity’). I’m sure all of you will acknowledge that negative feeling, and most will probably feel it now – it’s rather difficult to be positive when you are regularly threatened with the sack, told even though you work every hour available it’s not enough, and some how student dissatisfaction at their lot is your lot. But, perhaps, that is just looking at things too ‘simply’.
We can start to discuss our positive alternate investment strategy for London Met at next week’s campus-wide joint UCU/Unison branch meeting. Please make every effort to attend. It really is time your voice was heard.