Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Model Letter to MP (from staff)

House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA


I am writing to you to raise my very major concerns about the situation facing London Metropolitan University at the moment. As a direct result of poor financial decisions made by the management, London Metropolitan University, one of London’s newest universities specialising in education for a diverse population (thus significantly involved in the government’s policy of widening participation), is now threatened with significant staff redundancies. .

HEFCE has reduced London Metropolitan’s teaching grant by £18m / year and is clawing back £38m in over-payments as a result of inaccurate returns on student completion rates. London Metropolitan’s management are now insisting on 550 job losses (mostly in the form of redundancies) across the university within 15 months,. If this is in proportion to the number of part-timers who work at the university, 8-900 people (25% of all staff) would lose their livelihoods. This figure has risen inexplicably in the past six weeks and may rise further.

So far, they have failed to consult meaningfully with staff or unions about the crisis or the future of the university. There appears to have been no attempt to look for alternative ways of dealing with the crisis.

As well as fearing for my own future, I am greatly concerned that these job cuts throw the future viability of the university into doubt. Reductions in staffing will erode London Metropolitan University’s ability to offer high quality education to Londoners and will inflict damage on the prospects of the students who pursue their studies, often at great cost. This is nonsensical: in a recession, the government should be investing more, not less, in education. If billions of pounds are available to bail out private banks and their rich shareholders, then there is certainly funding available for education. We call on the government to step in to save the university so that staff and students do not pay for the incompetence of others through job cuts and course closures.

I would ask that you write to the Governors of London Metropolitan University (via the Chair of Governors, Peter Anwyl: Executive Director, International Students’ House, 1 Park Crescent, London W1B 1SH) as a matter of urgency calling on them to ensure that management work with staff and the trades unions to avoid cutting jobs. I would also ask you to support the EDM, no. 575, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn on 26.01.09 and to raise these concerns with ministers with a view to securing funding for London Metropolitan’s future.

Yours sincerely,

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