Thursday, 18 November 2010

Don't write off the LDU

The Learning Development Unit and Writing Centre could be closed by the end of the academic year as 44 redundancies have been announced.

What can you do to help?

Post messages of support on the Don’t write off the LDU blog

Sign the Petition

Join the Don’t write off the LDU Facebook group

Send this editable email to the VC

The SU is also holding two open meetings next week for students to come and find about the local and national cuts and to find out what steps we can take to oppose them.

* Monday 22nd November: 5pm, Henry Thomas room, Tower building, North campus.
* Tuesday 23rd November: 5pm, Calcutta house Atrium, Goulston st, City campus.

Staff are also welcome to attend either or both of these meetings.
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Monday, 8 November 2010

Save London Met! Education for all! Demonstrate!

A crucial time is upon us and we are asking for your support. Jobs, student places, funding for teaching and access to education itself are at risk from the Government. Together we must take a stand to defend ourselves, our values, our communities and education for future generations. The Coalition Government announced:

• £9,000 tuition Fees
• 40% cuts to University funding
• Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will lose ALL funding support

What does this mean for us?

London Met could lose 80% of its teaching grant. We could be closed down completely at worst: Education will no longer be affordable or a right, but a privilege for the few. At best it will mean: 

• More students crammed into lecturer theatres,
• Widespread course closures,
• Large scale redundancies,
• Buildings such as libraries and computer room

What can you do?

In the future you or someone you know will look to enter further or higher education. We need to unite now to push for a new, more sustainable way of funding education. The National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU), with UNISON support, are jointly organising a national demo, ‘Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts’ on Wednesday 10 November 2010, in central London. The demonstration aims to shake the unity of the Coalition Government by highlighting to MPs that education funding is an issue that resonates strongly within society, as well as students and their families. So join us as we tell this government: “No ifs, no buts - no Education cuts!”

Join Us on the National Demo!

Assemble: 9am-10.30 am at ‘The Rocket’ or ‘The HUB’, then Travel to Embankment (11am). Demonstrate under the ‘Save London Met’ banner, with UNISON and UCU banners. Meet in Victoria Embankment Gardens, Embankment Tube: 11.30am
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Monday, 25 October 2010

London Met University UNISON / Students' Union/ UCU joint statement on the Browne Report and Spending Review cuts

Last week, the Government announced unprecedented cuts to Higher Education budgets as a whole (40%). The Browne report came out the week before that, recommending a removal of the cap on tuition fees. These policies would be utterly destructive.

The government appears to be hell bent on dismantling the welfare state, public education and health. If Lord Browne has his way, families could have to shell out between £76,000 and £136,000 to put two children through university. Browne, who made himself rich as an oil Baron for BP, could afford that. Could your family?

His recommendations would be as disastrous for Higher Education as BP’s oil spillage was for the Gulf of Mexico.

These cuts are categorically unacceptable, unfair and unnecessary. The political elite can afford to waste billions on fighting in Afghanistan, an ageing nuclear defence programme, and an aircraft carrier that has no aircraft to carry … but cannot educate its own children.

Arts, humanities and social sciences are degraded as no longer ‘priority’ subjects – they could losing government funding altogether. Art is a crucial part of our economy and an essential fabric of London life and culture. What would happen to John Cass, the college of Music, or Arts College - non-science subjects will become privileged hobbies for millionaire private schoolboys like Cameron, Clegg and Cable. Universities like ours could shut down altogether.

Meanwhile, at London Met, we’re still recovering from the cuts of 2009 caused by funding scandal not of our making. The immediate impact of a hike in fees at London Met is obvious and does not need to be spelt out. There is no alternative but active opposition and active resistance.

United, we staff and students fought back against the cuts last of 2009 – we refused to pay for the incompetence of our old management and their crisis, we demanded and eventually saw the Governors’ mass resignations, we saved 200 jobs and we stopped outsourcing.

Now we’re being told to pay for the banker’s crisis – and again, we say: ‘no, we shall not pay for their crisis!’ We saw the back of the Governors at London Met – we’ll see the back of this government too.

The three unions - support staff in UNISON, lecturers in UCU, and the Students’ Union - pledge resistance to these cuts to education. We pledge to do all we can to:

  • save the welfare state from these vandals;
  • defend education from market madness; and to
  • protect all public services from parasites and privateers.

We call on all staff to join the unions in our campaign – and those who are not members of the unions to join up and join in.

We call on senior management - and the Vice Chancellor in particular - to declare their opposition to these cuts and support our pledge of resistance. We call for:

  • a day off from lectures and from work on 10th November 2010, so we can:

Demonstrate against cuts to Education

Come to a joint-union

Campaign launch Party at 'The Rocket', Holloway Road

4th November 2010, starts at 6pm.

Speakers from all three unions, music afterwards

To find out more and how to get involved - to check everyday for activities and events, meetings and demonstrations, letters to write to your MPs, subscribe to our mailing list... go to the re-launched ‘Save London Met’ website:

London Met University UNISON, UCU, Students’ Union

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Statement to remuneration committee

The recent financial crisis at LMU has resulted in a mass reduction in staff, services and resources. Thus causing substantial reviews across the university that are due to take place in academic year 2010/11. One of these reviews addresses the pay and reward scheme currently in operation. The PRP scheme alone which is paid out to approximately 200 senior members of staff currently costs the university around £1m per annum. This is not considered to be a productive avenue of expenditure and therefore should be suspended with immediate effect to prevent any further financial wastage.

Such wastage in the present economic climate along with LMU’s current financial position is unacceptable. The number of student facing staff has been massively reduced causing a negative impact on the students. However, student numbers are still over 25,000. Departments have been merged and reduced having a significant impact on the operations of the university, its facilities, students and staff. We are also concerned that the hygiene standards at LMU have greatly deteriorated since the cleaning services have been outsourced. If LMU can afford to spend around £1m on PRP, why can they not afford good hygiene?

The financial expenditure that has been allocated to staff bonuses could be better utilised. For instance, providing an increase in the wage of those staff currently receiving the minimum wage thus bringing their salary in line with the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour. Such an increase would improve staff morale resulting in improved quality of services delivered to LMU, as opposed to causing animosity or creating a class division amongst the staff members by wasting money on awards for already highly paid staff.

Ordinarily a business or organisation which has undergone significant change (as has happened at LMU) the management structure is generally de-layered. This involves reducing senior roles and/or reducing the number of pay grades and salary ranges to create a cost effective, productive management structure that fits the new shape of the organisation. This would be the logical move for LMU.

Met SU, UCU and UNISON fully support the remuneration review and requests that all staff bonus schemes be suspended with immediate effect pending review. We also request that the case for paying the minimum Living Wage to those staff members receiving the minimum pay rate be heard and taken into consideration at the review. Finally, we request that the LMU management structure including at faculty level also be reviewed in the coming academic year.

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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Joint Statement on London Met 'Bankruptcy' rumours from UNISON, UCU and LMSU

BBC Radio News reported on Saturday 25th September that London Met was one of three institutions at risk of bankruptcy (the others being Cumbria University and the University of Gloucestershire). A repeat report appeared on Sunday 26th in the Telegraph. We believe such reports are based on rumour, exaggeration and ill-informed inference drawn from well-worn stories that were already within the public domain.

In no case did the reports derive from any recent comments from the institutions themselves nor, to our knowledge, were the institutions requested to report on their financial health.

The timing of these stories is unlikely to be an accident. Coinciding with the start of a new academic year and in the run up to the Comprehensive Spending Review, the reports are at best irresponsible and at worst have been put forward by groups opposed to public funded education as disinformation intended to alarm staff and students currently at London Met or the other institutions and to discourage future students.

We believe such rumours are part of a much wider 'softening-up' of the public in an attempt to create an 'inevitability' around mass cuts to higher education provision and to justify the ideologically-driven encroachment of private sector for profit companies into higher education.

UCU, UNISON and the LMSU invite London Met management and all supporters of London Met to engage in a joint campaign by all supporters of London Met to make the case for fully funded Higher Education and in defence of institutions such as London Met that provide vital training and educational provision to what are highly diverse and culturally mixed local populations at a time of recession and increasing unemployment.
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Monday, 16 August 2010

£1m in bonuses for senior LMU managers

An email from the HR department at LMU has revealed that senior managers are paid in the region of £1m in bonuses per year, whilst only £100k is paid in "Merit Awards" to support staff.

Read an article on the findings here.
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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Whitewash as senior London Met bosses avoid disciplinary for financial scandal

Two senior managers at London Met involved in the financial incompetence that led to the university having to pay back £36.5 million in funding will not face any disciplinary charges after they were cleared in a report produced by the legal firm Eversheds. The full report, which has not yet been made publicly available, recommended that the managers not be held responsible for the failures committed under their leadership.

Read an article on the subject from the East London Advertiser.
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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Parents and staff rally to save their nursery

Staff and students of London Metropolitan University rallied yesterday to save their nursery at Hornsey Road.

Parents were with their children carrying balloons that read 'I love my nursery', and staff held placards reading 'Save our Nursery'.

Members of both trade unions, UNISON and UCU, called for the Vice Chancellor to keep the nursery open, and hundreds more signatures on the petition were collected.

The group chanted: "What do we want? To save our Nursery! When do we want it? Now!"

The petition, with close to a thousand signatures collected in the last few weeks, was handed in to the Vice Chancellor's office. Representatives of London Met UNISON branch are meeting this morning to discuss alternative proposals on keeping the nursery open.

See here (film) and here for background and read comments on the online petitition here. More photos of the rally below:

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Friday, 5 March 2010


The last remaining nursery at London Met University - at Hornsey Road - is threatened with closure, leaving students and staff who are parents without a local nursery. We're campaigning to keep this vital service open. We are calling for a rally:

Tues 9th March, 4.00-5.00pm Tower Building, 166-220 Holloway Road, N7 8DB

This is our last chance to save nursery provision at London Met. Students and staff have worked on alternative proposals on keeping Hornsey Rd Nursery open, and will present to the new VC on Wednesday 10th to discuss. At this rally we will hand in our petition and show the level of support for our nursery. (Photo (c) Islington Gazette)

Please be there to support us!

Watch our film on the nursery here:

Sign our petition here.
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Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Press reports add pressure to keep nursery open

Local paper, the Islington Gazette, featured a report on the protest at Hornsey Road nursery on Thursday 25th Febraury. You can read the full report on their website here.

Picture copyright Islington Gazette

There is also a report in the Morning Star here.

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Save Hornsey Road Nursery

The last remaining nursery at London Met University - at Hornsey Road - is threatened with closure, leaving students and staff who are parents without a local nursery. We're campaigning to keep this vital service open. Watch our short film (6 min.) below and pass this on:

Please see our petition here,* (there is also a Facebook group, type 'SAVE HORNSEY ROAD NURSERY' into the search) sign and return petitions to UNISON Office, London Met University, 31 Jewry St, London EC3N 2EY, before March 10th.


You could also (politely) email Prof Malcolm Gillies, the new VC, asking him - in your own words - to reconsider and keep Hornsey Road Nursery Open:
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Monday, 11 January 2010