Friday, 3 July 2009

Govenors held to account over job cuts at London Met

2nd July lobby of Peter Anwyl

Students and staff today lobbied the Chair of London Met University’s Board of Governors, to protest against job cuts (photos from 'px', indymedia).

The protest was aimed at Peter Anwyl, Director of International Student House (ISH), who has consistently refused to meet or talk to the unions. A delegation from both UCU and UNISON went to present a letter protesting at the cuts in staff at LMU.

London Met Board of Governors approved the plan to make 550 redundancies last month, refusing to consider union proposals to ease the damage done to the staff at London Met.

Before handing in the letter, Allan Pike and Cliff Snaith, representing UNISON and UCU, said that the Board must take responsibility for their actions: governors should either reverse the plans to cut jobs or resign. The letter reminded Anwyl of his responsibilities in empowering a discredited management to implement a plan rejected by the funding council and of government criticisms of the Board of Governors’ “lack of oversight”. It ended by inviting him to complete his own Redundancy Selection form.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, (left), spoke at the rally, outlining and reaffirming his support for London Met University and the campaign to save it. He said: “David Lammy agreed to our call for a public enquiry, and I intend to hold him to account on that.”

Corbyn announced that he has also tabled another Early Day Motion, and has asked numerous questions in Parliament: “Government ministers have said it’s not up to us, it’s down to HEFCE... Well, I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. The government sets the budget and allocates the money. At a time of a recession, mounting unemployment and rising applications for university places, there needs to be proper investment in higher education from the Government.”

UCU immediate ex-President, Sasha Callaghan (right), also spoke in support of the fight to save London Met, calling the management’s plans to cut so many jobs a ‘disgrace’.

Up to 50 staff and students chanted: “Peter Anwyl hear us say, London Met staff are here to stay!”, and, “they say cut back; we say fight back!”

Dozens of leaflets were given out to the bemused staff and students at ISH, who wondered why there was a protest about London Met Uni on their doorstep.

Mark Campbell, from UCU, told the crowd: “We’ll be back!” A new day of strike action and further protests outside the workplaces of members of the Board of Governors are being planned.


  1. Uni staff strike called off in notice row

    Union forced to abandon industrial action as college claims it was not informed of protest

    THE hostile relationship between staff and management at London Metropolitan University took a dramatic turn for the worse yesterday (Thursday) after a full-scale strike was abandoned at the last minute.
    Managers claim they did not receive legal notification of the planned industrial action – which was set to close the university’s Holloway campus for the second time in two months.