Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Students occupy London Met to stop job cuts

In a story familiar to all public sector workers, London Metropolitan University are threatening massive redundancies as a result of budget cuts. The university is saying it wanted to get rid of over 550 roles, which would threaten the jobs of 800 staff (a quarter of the workforce).This is a problem which university staff are facing across the country, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has said that 100 institutions are planning collective redundancies. For those who don’t lose their jobs work intensification is another major issue. The student-staff ratio for UK universities was 9/1 thirty years ago, today it is 18/1 (higher than France, Germany and the United States).

London Met students and staff are determined to fight back. As of 17:00 on Monday 11 May 2009, a large group of students began occupation of part of the Commercial Road building to protest at management’s plans for imminent and unprecedented staff redundancies. This follows last week’s industrial action at London Met. On Thursday 7 May UCU members went on strike after the university said it was pushing ahead with a voluntary redundancy scheme that that the union argued had no strategy behind it.

UCU members across the UK are currently being balloted for industrial action over planned job cuts at around 100 universities. The union said that the employers’ organisation’s refusal to act as the crisis over jobs deteriorated had forced it to ballot for industrial action. That ballot result is expected on Friday 22 May.Please visit the occupation and show your solidarity. It seems that the university will try to evict them. It is vitally important that we mobilise the maximum possible solidarity.
There will be a demonstration tonight (Tuesday 12 May), outside the building at 5.30pm - arrive from 5pmSee here for location details: www.londonmet.ac.uk/about/commercial-road.cfmFor more information see savelondonmetuni.blogspot.com

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