By Sophie Squire
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Job cuts action at Goldsmiths

Workers voted by a big majority to strike at the south London university
Issue 2899
Goldsmiths strike ballot UCU

Workers and students at a strike rally at Goldsmiths during the last round of strikes over redundancies Picture: Guy Smallman

Workers have voted  to meet a jobs massacre at Goldsmiths university in south London with resistance. UCU union members voted to strike over bosses’ plans to cut over 130 jobs. 

An impressive 87 percent of members voted to strike on a 63 percent turnout. 

The bosses’ plan to make cuts to staffing would be devastating. They plan to sack half of the academics in the history department and half of the academics in the sociology department.

An open letter written by Goldsmiths UCU hit back at the university bosses. 

“The magnitude of the proposed changes, the pace at which it is being undertaken, and the completely predictable disastrous effect it will have on students and the Goldsmiths community makes evident that the college is placing financial interests over those of students and the community,” it said. 

“As a result, both students and faculty staff are already being forced to quit their studies and work positions altogether. 

“Academic and professional development are undermined by this decision, with faculty members seeing their careers severed, and PhDs and students incapable of starting one. 

“This is an attack on the production of knowledge disguised as an economic recovery plan, which, placed in the bigger picture of restructures across universities, makes clear that it responds to the desire of making universities corporate machines.”

In 2021-22 workers at Goldsmiths struck for over 30 days. They did manage to scale back some of the redundancies the bosses had planned, but not all of them. 

This time, workers must find a way to escalate their action to put more pressure on the bosses. Workers are also more likely to win if they strike with other university staff facing redundancy. 

Bosses are trying to make job cuts at London South Bank university, Soas university, Goldsmiths university, Cambridge university, and Sheffield Hallam university. 

At Northumbria University, management withdrew threats of compulsory redundancies after workers voted to strike last month.

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