Monday, 13 July 2009

University staff to strike over crisis job cuts (London Paper)

Staff at London Metropolitan University are to go on strike tomorrow in protest at 550 job losses and will call on Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to launch an inquiry into the institution's financial crisis
STAFF at London Metropolitan University are due join picket lines tomorrow as they strike over job cuts.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) and Unison said they would bring the institution to a standstill, before delivering a petition to Business Secretary Lord Mandelson calling for a public inquiry and a halt to the redundancies.

The unions said the university had been hit by repayment demands totalling more than £36m and had responded by announcing plans to axe more than 550 posts.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "The situation at London Met is a nightmare and members don't want be taking industrial action. However, it is not acceptable for management to punish the staff for their mistakes.

"Those responsible for the current mess must be held accountable, not the staff, and once again I call upon the Government to hold a fully independent public inquiry.

"Ministers cannot put this off any longer. The proposed job cuts would be a disaster for students and the local area.

"Any inquiry which does not examine closely the full failings at LMU will be a wasted opportunity to provide a brighter future for its beleaguered staff and students."

Jon Richards of Unison added: "We have tried hard to work with management to avoid redundancies since the university went into financial crisis, but have been left with no choice."

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