Socialist Worker

Open University workers ballot for strikes

Issue No. 2476

UCU union members at the Open University are balloting for strikes over cuts and closures. 

Bosses want to close seven regional centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford—cutting 502 jobs. 

Workers have protested in several cities. The strike ballot ends on 5 November.


Around 25 UCU and Unison union members staged a lunchtime protest outside the Open University HQ in Birmingham on Tuesday of last week.

They were protesting against the planned closure of the Birmingham OU centre. Many of those protesting stressed that access to OU courses changed people’s lives. Some said the closure would particularly hit disabled and vulnerable students.

If the Birmingham centre closes, 60 jobs are at risk. People have been offered the “option” of transferring to Milton Keynes – some 70 miles away.

Many protesters hoped the demonstration would be just the start, and talked about the need for strikes.

Bridget Parsons

 


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Tue 20 Oct 2015, 16:39 BST
Issue No. 2476
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