Censure of London Metropolitan University

28 October 2016

Censure of London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University is facing a further hit to its reputation today, following a decision by the University and College Union to issue a censure of the troubled institution, with a possible international boycott to follow.

UCU are demanding a halt to a major programme of cuts and restructuring at the institution, which has largely bypassed any attempt at meaningful consultation with the unions. In fact, the current upheaval was presaged by the victimisation of UCU’s two negotiators, Mr Mark Campbell and Dr David Hardman, who were dismissed in July.

Mark Campbell and David Hardman were both lecturers in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing at London Met and had been vocal opponents of the management, campaigning against redundancies, casualisation, excessive workloads, stress and bullying.  According to Dr Hardman “We have no doubt that London Met management removed us precisely because they knew we would oppose the mass job cuts they are now attempting to push through and attacks on staff conditions of service. Predictably, we are now receiving reports from staff who are stressed because of the unmanageable workloads imposed upon them, sometimes to the point of being made physically unwell”.

Mark Campbell added “Our dispute has been recognised as one of national significance, as London Met is now at the bleeding edge of the increased marketisation of higher education.  Worryingly, institutions across the country are beginning to follow suit, competing to lower staff costs whilst spending more on shiny new buildings. These pressures will worsen if the Higher Education Bill, currently before Parliament, is passed, which is why we need to make a stand now. Unfortunately, whilst pretty glass-topped atriums might look good on the cover of prospectuses, they don’t compensate for the loss of talented staff. Ultimately, staff working conditions are students’ learning conditions.

If London Met’s management do not provide a satisfactory response to the issues raised by UCU, then the union will move swiftly to the declaration of a full international academic boycott of the institution. Yaz Djebbour, London Met UCU Chair, states: “None of us want to be in this position. The management can avoid further escalation by reinstating our reps, suspending the programme of cuts and associated redundancies, the imposition of unmanageable workloads, non-consulted lectu re recording and management observation of teaching schemes, and return to the negotiating table in good faith

FOR ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT Christina Paine, London Met UCU (Secretary) on 07956 533708, or via christinaucu1@gmail.com

Sign the letter: ‘London Met is on the wrong path’ here

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