Socialist Worker

London Met workers strike against bosses' attack on jobs

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2454

Workers on the picket lines at the Holloway Road campus in north London

Workers on the picket lines at the Holloway Road campus in north London (Pic: Socialist Worker )

Workers at London Metropolitan University struck today, Thursday, against bosses’ plans to axe 165 jobs.

The striking UCU union members said the cuts are linked to a different vision of education.

Seidu, who teaches law at London Met, was on the picket line. He told Socialist Worker, “Higher education is becoming like a market–bosses want a university that's all about efficiency and prestige.

"But we want a university that's about education and students.

Monica (right) on the picket line

Monica (right) on the picket line (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Monica was course leader in anthropology–but the courses will stop being taught this year.

She explained to Socialist Worker, "It's usually richer universities that teach subjects such as Anthropology.

"But it's powerful as it helps students understand the world they live in – and they love it."

Many pickets were furious at the vice chancellor, who has dismissed those who criticise management as "actively disengaged".

Some strikers wore badges declaring “actively disengaged" in response.

Christina Paine, a lecturer on a casual contract, told Socialist Worker, "A lot of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“They need a lot of time and resources from us.I can't see how cutting 165 jobs will give them more time."

UCU members overwhelmingly supported escalating strikes at a recent union branch meeting.

Workers plan to meet again later today following a rally.

As striker David put it, "If the full set of cuts go through that's 10 percent of the workforce gone. Our ability to provide education to future generations of students will be damaged.

"We need to keep the pressure on. Unison union members' ballot result is due tomorrow and we hope to strike with them.

"And if we could coordinate strikes with other colleges fighting cuts that would be great."

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