More than 250 UNISON members working at London Metropolitan University will strike today (Friday) after the university’s continuing financial issues left staff facing the threat of compulsory redundancy.
This follows two successful strike days last month (4 and 25 June) and action short of a strike. This will be followed by continuous action short of strike action which will include a ban on overtime working; not working outside contracted hours; and not covering for leave, sickness or training of colleagues.
London Met proposed 165 job cuts claiming costs needed to be reduced after student numbers fell substantially. UNISON has successfully negotiated the number of members facing compulsory redundancy down to just three. However one of the remaining three is Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary.
UNISON is extremely concerned that Max Watson has been targeted in this way. Max is a longstanding activist and a staunch fighter of members’ interests and is the only member of staff in his whole faculty being made redundant. UNISON believes management is using this round of redundancies to deliberately target Max and has called on it to withdraw the notice of dismissal and stop the victimisation of UNISON representatives.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary in a message of support said” At a time when the government is taking the cap off student numbers and encouraging more people into higher education, what sort of institution looks to cut back on vital staff?
It is deplorable that the University is still proposing to make three members redundant. Even more so, that our hard working, strong campaigning Branch Secretary Max Watson is one of those three. We know from our struggles over the years that when employers are threatened they try to take out our leaders.
We all know that Max has been a redoubtable defender of UNISON members and that without his work many members would have lost their jobs as the University has sought to privatise and cut back, over the years. UNISON will do all it can to defend our members jobs.”
Staff will be on picket lines from 7.30am at the university’s main entrances – Tower Building Holloway Road, Graduate Centre, The Rocket (Great Hall), Harglenis Building and Learning Centre.
A strike rally will take place between 12 and 2pm at the Tower Building, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB
Contact: Jamie Brown, UNISON Regional Organiser T: 07950 889013 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary (and NEC member) T: 07949 039187 E: email@example.com