Tuesday, 17 March 2015

OPPOSE THE JOBS MASSACRE - STOP THE SPIRAL OF DECLINE

OPPOSE THE JOBS MASSACRE
STOP THE SPIRAL OF DECLINE

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 ofS188 redundancies followed, in 20112012, 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.

JOIN US, GET ORGANISED - COME TO OPEN JOINT UNION MEETINGS*

NORTH CAMPUS: Tuesday 24th
1-2pm Graduate Centre, Room: GCG-08
Speaker: Liz Lawrence, UCU President 

CITY CAMPUS Wednesday 25th
12-1pm Moorgate, Room: MG102
Speaker: Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary
* NOTE VENUE AND TIME CHANGE... Membership forms available at the door

Also: Faculty of Business & Law open meeting organised by UCU Moorgate: MG-G12, Wed 18th March 1-2pm

Read the full post with comments!

Petition: No more jobs cuts - stop the spiral of decline

Dear John Raftery and London Met Board of Governors,
We are writing in response to the shocking news of your plan to implement large-scale redundancies amongst both academic and professional support staff at London Metropolitan University. We strongly urge you to reconsider these plans and join with staff and students in developing an alternative plan to grow the university. 
London Met and it’s predecessor institutions have played a vital role over past decades in providing educational opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged groups in society. We believe that the plan to dramatically reduce academic and professional support staff is unnecessary and will lead to a rapid increase in the spiral of decline that has dogged the university over the past few years. This decline constitutes what we believe to be an unacceptable threat to a vital element in the educational provision within London.
We find it impossible to disagree with staff and students at London Met who point to the series of disastrous policies and strategies adopted by former Vice Chancellors and supported by the institution’s senior management that have resulted in a series of financial crises, critical damage to the university’s international reputation and a dramatic decline in both the breadth and quality of the service offered to students. It is these disastrous policies that have resulted in falling student numbers at the university, it is a scandal that those who have formulated and implemented these policies and who are ultimately responsible for the university’s decline have profited substantially from their own ineptitude.
It is our belief that London Met  can continue to play an important role in providing higher education in London. But to continue the disastrous strategy of cutting back of staff can only result in a decline of the service offered to students with the inevitable result of a continuing decline and possible eventual demise of the institution as a whole. The loss of London Met would be a loss for the whole of London, we again strongly urge you to turn away from your current strategy of weakening the university and to join with staff and students in developing a plan for growth of London Met.

Read the full post with comments!

Open letter to students opposing job cuts 2015

Dear Student,

This is in response to the recent letter you received from John Raftery, London Metropolitan University's Vice-Chancellor.

It appears from his letter that the Vice-Chancellor believes you are currently being provided with far too much staff time and guidance. So much in fact that he wants to reduce the number of staff providing you with that support. He says this is what lies behind his decision to sack 165 of your lecturers and support staff. The very staff that are currently tasked with providing you with the support you require for your studies. As elected officers of the trade unions representing those staff we want to take this opportunity to provide you with our point of view.

The Vice-Chancellor has stated to us that the 'problem' at London Met is that the Staff to Student Ratio (SSR) is more than at our 'competitor' universities, and is simply unsustainable despite the large amount of fees you are paying. That this is itself a result of an inevitable decline in student enrollments. He has also stated that the university's future - and specifically that of its individual courses, is directly related to the score each achieves in the current NSS (National Student Survey). Yet he fails to explain how cutting staff and reducing the time staff have to support your study will increase your satisfaction with either your university or your course. We don't agree with his interpretation of the reasons for the financial difficulties faced by London Met, nor that his sacking of the staff providing your teaching and support will reverse those difficulties. Indeed, we are convinced they will not only further exacerbate the financial problems faced by the university, but that they will directly negatively impact on your studies and the already tarnished reputation of London Met.

There has been nothing inevitable about our reduction in student enrollments. It is our opinion that these reductions are a direct result of policies pursued by previous London Met Vice-Chancellors - notably, Malcolm Gillies, who recently 'retired' from the university with close to £500,000 for his last year of 'service', and the very highly-paid Executive Group running the university. Specifically, the university management decision to work with the private education provider LSBF (London School of Business and Finance), against the strong advice of the staff unions at the time, led to the catastrophic loss of our UKBA Tier-4 HTS licence and our ability to recruit oversees students. This did untold damage to our international reputation that we are only now slowly recovering from. However, the Vice-Chancellor, his predecessor, and his Executive Group, failed to learn vital lessons from the UKBA debacle, such as listening to staff concerns and ideas to 'grow' our university to financial recovery, and instead have pursued a relentless strategy of cut upon cut.

As you will realise, we have already lost countless members of staff - through compulsory redundancy, forced 'voluntary' redundancy, and even more shockingly through stress-related illness, and in some cases, death. We have endured cuts in courses offered, reduction in module choices, increases in tutorial and seminar class numbers - resulting in less and less individual time allocated to you to see project supervisors and module teaching staff. You are no longer provided with printed resources and you share classes with those on a multitude of unrelated courses. None of this has helped you in your studies, and it has further piled on stress and pressure on your overworked teaching and support staff. More importantly, it hasn't done anything - indeed the opposite, to make our university a more attractive proposition to prospective students.

Academic and support staff have chosen to work at London Met because we fundamentally believe in the values expressed in our mission statement. We are here to give you the best chance to succeed in an increasingly competitive world, and provide you, in many cases, with a second chance following difficult personal circumstances and obstacles thrown up against you your entire life. That requires sufficient investment in staff numbers and time to enable us to give you the best service you are rightly demanding. If the university were to do so, rather than continue the downward spiral of cut upon cut, not only will we help you and your classmates reach your full potential, the university will become a much more attractive place to those countless others that would benefit from such investment.

Money can be saved at this university and invested where it matters. However, that will require a complete change of management perspective. Indeed, it will require the removal of hugely expensive layers of management from the Executive Group down. We want your support in fighting for the kind of leadership that put your real interests ahead of those of the privileged few at the tops of our universities. Our fight is your fight, and that fight is for the very purpose and soul of London Met.

Mark Campbell, London Met UCU (Chair),
Cliff Snaith, London Met UCU (Secretary)
Claire Lock, London Met Unison (Chair)
Max Watson, London Met Unison (Secretary)

Read the full post with comments!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Why are the unions striking over proposed changes to our pensions?


UNISON and UCU would like to invite all staff and students to the following open meetings to explain:

“What are the proposed changes to our pension schemes – why are the unions striking?”

NORTH
Wednesday 16 November 2011
13:00-14:00
Room: TG-30, ‘Henry Thomas Room’

CITY
Thursday 17 November 2011
13:00-14:00
Room: JSM-34 (Jewry Street Lecture Theatre)

The government has proposed significant changes to public sector pension schemes that London Met staff are members of (LGPS/ LPFA, USS and TPS). The government want us to pay more, work longer and get less.

Public sector unions (including UNISON and UCU) are in dispute with the government over these detrimental (and in our view unnecessary) changes and, after balloting all relevant members, announced the first day of strike action on 30th November.

Come to these open meetings (all welcome) for up to date info and find out how this will affect YOU…

For more info, contact: unison@londonmet.ac.uk

or go here: http://www.londonmetunison.org.uk/


Read the full post with comments!

UNISON - Fighting for decent pensions


UNISON members will be taking action on 30 November to defend their pensions, after they voted overwhelmingly to join the TUC co-ordinated day of action .

Pressure from UNISON, including the ballot of more than a million members, has seen the government move significantly from its original proposals.

But at the moment, all the government has spelled out is outline principles - there are no detailed offers for the different public service pension schemes that members can make a decision on.

UNISON will continue to negotiate on our members' behalf right up until 30 November and we will consult members when any firm offer is received.

Until we have a firm offer, we need to keep up the pressure and proceed with our plans for action on 30 November alongside other public sector unions and the TUC.

Resources and information to help your branch plan for action are available on these pages.

Your pension is under attack - join us in defending it.

Pensions: busting the myths
Read the full post with comments!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

#N9

On Wednesday 9th November, thousands of students from all over the country will march through London against the government’s plans for universities.



Assemble: 12 noon at the University of London Union (ULU) on Malet Street

See the Facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=149127191852123
Read the full post with comments!