Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Press and support for strike on 15th and 16th October 2009

See below for a collection of articles and messages of solidarity for the joint UCU/Unison strike action at London Met on 15th and 16th October 2009 in protest at redundancies and further cuts to student services.

East London Advertiser...

Islington Gazette...

Socialist Worker...

Socialist Party...

Tower Hamlets Council...

Education Solidarity Network...


International support from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and a link to the copy of the letter sent by CAUT to the London Met Vice-Chancellor, Alfred Morris...

For more individual messages of support, see our Messages of Support page...
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Saturday, 17 October 2009

More photos, reports and videos of Oct 15th-16th strike

Staff and students on strike at London Met University, 15th-16th Oct in protest against massive job cuts. Read our report here, and see other press articles here, here, here and here. See more photos by clicking on the link 'Read the full post with comments', and more photos here and here. Also, watch videos of the rally held on Thursday here, and on Friday here and here. Guy Smallman's Photos can be seen here.

More to come. Please send us your reports, videos or photos of the strike to:

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Videos: rally, Thursday 15th Oct

Tina, London Met Student
See more speeches at rally by clicking on the link 'Read the full post with comments' (below).

Max Watson, London Met UNISON

Kay Dudman, London Met UCU

Megan Redmond, London Met UNISON

Claire Locke, London Met Student

Cliff Snaith, London Met UCU (pt1)

Cliff Snaith, London Met UCU (pt2)

Cliff Snaith, London Met UCU (pt3)

Alisdair Ross, London Met UCU

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London Met staff walk out

Staff at London Metropolitan University in Tower Hamlets have begun two days of strike action against cuts and redundancies.

The action follows a strike in July and other protests by staff and students against the cutbacks ordered by the university’s authorities

Lecturers, represented by the Universities and Colleges Union, and non-teaching staff, represented by Unison are on strike until Friday 16th October.

The ongoing campaign by staff and students at LMU began last year when university management announced 550 redundancies and closures. The cuts are being made to pay for a £38 million “claw back” of funds by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE). The “claw back” was announced by the funding council last December when it discovered misreporting by LMU of student drop outs had led to a £58 million overpayment.

Read the full article here (East London Lines).

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OVER 100 staff, students and lecturers rallied outside London Met University yesterday lunchtime, to vow to halt the wave of hundreds of sackings taking place at the institution.

Students eagerly took leaflets from pickets and joined the rally.

Two sites of the university were shut down by the support of staff and students for the 48-hour strike by Unison and the UCU that concludes today.

Naomi Bicharri, a business student, told News Line: ‘I don’t agree with the cuts and I feel all students should have equal opportunities to go to university.

Richard Cryan, a Unison library assistant, said: ‘We’re striking to save jobs and save the university.

‘What we’re hearing is the sector as a whole is facing cuts. But it is not the time to be cutting education.

Read the rest here (WRP).

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VIDEO: Joint UNISON / UCU London Met Rally (2)

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VIDEO: Joint UNISON / UCU rally at London Met (1)

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Friday, 16 October 2009

More photos Oct 15th Strike

See more photos, click on 'see full post...' below.

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Photos from Strike 15th Oct

See more photos - click on 'see full post with comments' below.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009

First day of London Metropolitan University strike (Press coverage)

Coverage of today's strike:

University jobs cut protes
Islington Gazette

University lecturers walk out today over job cuts

East London Advertiser

First day of London Metropolitan University strike
Socialist Worker
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Strong support for today's joint union strike

Staff and students rallied today outside Tower building, after a very successful day of strike action this morning.

All buildings had active picket lines and were respected by the vast majority of members. Ladbroke House was closed down completely after students walked out en mass and joined staff on the picket lines. A spokeswoman for the Ladbroke students reflected the anger felt by many students at the attack on their education that they are already beginning to experience as the inevitable result of staff cuts already enacted and is only likely to get much worse with the further cut backs proposed by management.

Jewry St was also closed following a fire alarm* (see correction at end). The few not on strike were evacuated by agency staff who are inadequately trained in health and safety, as all appropriately trained unionised full time staff were on strike.

Students who were turned away due to cancelled lessons were very receptive and appreciative of our argument that we are striking not to disrupt their lessons but to save our university from terminal decline. Thousands of leaflets were gratefully received by students and many of those students then joined our picket lines.

Students were angry to hear how much the Vice Chancellor earns – nearly £300,000 – and when they heard that Brian Roper was still being paid the same - despite not being on university premises since February, they were outraged. As one of the student speakers at our rally said - "We could keep the nursery open by simply getting rid of both of them".

We realise some of our members had their doubts about taking action today but after this morning most of those who had expressed uncertainties decided that they’d much rather respect the picket line than break the strike.

Thanks for all those members who came in to help out on the pickets – and to our students too. Hundreds signed our petition and many gladly took more leaflets to hand out to their classmates.

We’ll be rallying again at the Tower building at lunchtime tomorrow, 1-2pm.

We invite all staff to join us tomorrow, it’s not too late to change your mind and do the right thing. Today was a major success - let's make tomorrow even better.

Pickets start at 8 at every building. If you stayed at home today, come into join us. Pass this on to non-members and encourage them to join UNISON or UCU – it’s not too late. Today, both Unison and UCU recruited a number of new members on the picket lines!

United we stand, divided we fall. Today we stand shoulder to shoulder - staff and students united, and we stand up tall.
* We've been asked to correct what someone saw as inaccurate reporting:

"The building was NOT "closed following a fire alarm". The building was evacuated and the fire brigade called as per standard procedures. Occupants were allowed back in once the brigade gave the all clear and the fire alarm reset. If anything the fire alarm demonstrated that the agency staff on site were adequately trained and acted properly with respect to occupants safety. There was a delay in re-opening the building as the agency staff were not familiar with the re-setting procedure but this is not a safety issue."

It should be noted that the strikers were not responsible for this fire alarm being set off, as of course we were all outside the buildings...

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Statement of support from Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary

(Click on image for a larger view)
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More publicity for London Met dispute

Follow the links below for a series of articles on the proposed cuts at LMU, and support for the union action.

Times Higher Education...

New Statesman...

Jon Rogers union blog...

Socialist Unity...
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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Support our strike, join the pickets Thurs 15th and Fri 16th

Come and support the strike by joining/ visiting our pickets on Thurs 15th and Fri 16th: UCU and UNISON members will be at all the university building entrances from 8.00am. You can see maps to all the university buildings here: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/about/find-us.cfm

There are two campuses, North and City.

The key buildings to picket are:


The main building is Calcutta House

Next door is The Women's Library:

There is another key entrance to Calcutta House, around the corner, on Gouslton St: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/about/goulston-street.cfm

Just opposite the Whitechapel Art Gallery is Central House;

And further around the corner is Commercial Road;

Slightly separate from the grouped buildings above is the Moorgate Building:

North Campus:

The main building in the North is The Tower on Holloway Rd here:

Just across the road is Stapleton House:

Around the corner is the Learning Centre:

A little further down the street is the main admin block, 'the Rocket' (where the senior exec group mostly work): http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/about/the-rocket.cfm

Also in the North, but nearer to Highbury tube, is Ladbroke House:

Your support will be appreciated - our fight is your fight! Come and show your solidarity. If you can't come to any pickets, send a message of solidarity by emailing us or leaving comments here.

We will soon announce further plans for a rally and a social.

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Staff and students - strike against job cuts and closures!

Staff in UNISON and UCU are on strike on Thurs 15th and Fri 16th October against savage job cuts this year.

The chaotic scenes during enrolment say it all: we lost over 350 jobs last year and you can already see the difference. Management want to make another 100 - 200 redundancies and won't tell us exactly who is for the chop.

They even want to shut down the last of three nurseries without considering any options.

Staff and students at London Met are sick of being told it is us who have to pay the price for their incompetence. (Photo: 'px' - indymedia)

There was an independent inquiry into the financial crisis at London Met. Why don't the Governors wait until that reports before they announce any further job cuts?

Why not negotiate properly with the unions?

UCU and UNISON have been trying to negotiate: we even offered to go to ACAS to try to resolve this. Management won't budge.

This is our last resort: to strike during teaching. We realise this can cause massive disruption to classes. We apologise to students and other staff but feel if cuts of this scale continue the damage will be much worse.

These are our immediate demands: Join us on strike - support our campaign to Save London Met!

Our demands:

  • Withdraw the compulsory redundancies to nursery staff.
  • Voluntary severance for those made compulsory redundant.
  • Moratorium on redundancy announcements until 28 days after the publication of the Melville Report.
  • Any further redundancies announced after that to be subjected to new s.188 notice and formal and meaningful negotiations with the trade unions.

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