Defend Jobs — Defend Education!

Lobby the London Met Uni Board Of Governors

Tuesday 12th May, 4:30-6pm

London Metropolitan University has announced plans to cut 165 academic and professional support staff. The staff unions and students are fighting these damaging plans.
Join us on Tuesday 12th May as we call on the London Met Board of Governors to halt these proposals and join with staff and students to find an alternative plan to grow the university and create a stable future.

Since as local residents and victims of undercover policing, we began our campaign for the removal of former police spy Bob Lambert from his post as a part-time lecturer at London Metropolitan University, the London Met hierarchy have stood solidly behind Lambert. Statements have been issued defending his work, Tim Parsons from the John Grieve Centre (the department employing Lambert) has appeared on BBC London News extolling his virtues. It seems that despite Bob’s record of exploiting women, abandoning his child, acting as an agent provocateur to get others sent to prison, planting incendiary devices, passing information obtained by spying on trade unionists to private blacklisting firms, and sending spies to get close to grieving families like Stephen Lawrence’s – his job is safe at London Met.

Which contrasts heavily with the University bosses’ policies regarding other staff… London Met has announced plans to cut 165 academic and professional support staff. The staff unions, Unison and the University and College Union, supported by students are fighting the plans.

As London Met Unison comment: “London Metropolitan University’s senior management recently found in their own staff survey that 83 per cent have no faith or confidence in their leadership. Their response appears to be to sack as many staff as they can to change the demographics.”

Slashing 165 posts – some 105 of the workforce – will seriously damage London Met’s ability to function; unions and staff have already been warning that morale is very low, stress levels high, and confidence in the management almost non-existent, due to a history of bullying and intimidation.

As a statement from union reps and local politicians pointed out last week,

“London Met has long played a vital role in providing educational opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged groups in society… Unfortunately, we believe that its proud record of widening participation and student centred teaching and learning is now being put at significant risk by the current redundancy plan and strategy of shrinkage being pursued by the vice-chancellor.
We further believe such staff cuts will only act to greatly accelerate the spiral of decline that has already significantly damaged the university’s prospects over the past few years.
The loss of London Met would be a loss for the whole of London, and, in particular, the predominately working class communities it expressly serves. We therefore urgently call upon you to turn away from this misguided strategy of shrinkage, rescind the planned 165 job cuts, and join with staff and students in developing a coherent, workable, and foreword looking recovery plan for the necessary re-growth of London Met to enable it to continue serving the needs of its communities.“

London Met’s Management have, however, a long history of ignoring warnings from staff. For example, in 2012, Unison and the University and College Union strongly cautioned against entering into partnership with the London School of Business and Finance – the University leadership pressed ahead, with devastating results. An aggressive audit by the Home Office into London Met’s visa compliance systems, led to scandal, and the devastating loss of its licence to take on overseas students. Far from taking responsibility for their mistakes, the same managers have waged a campaign of fear against employees. Even the the redundancy consultation process is being mishandled and made as stressful as possible. By day 19 of the statutory minimum 45-day consultation period, workers are still waiting for the detailed proposals for the removal of 150 posts to be published.

Unsurprisingly both Unison and UCU reps are among those targeted for possible redundancy. Union reps having already been subject to trumped up disciplinary proceedings in the recent past, university authorities are clearly also hoping to get rid of opposition to their increasingly unpopular regime.

Both UCU and Unison are balloting for strike action to resist the redundancies. Many students are supporting them. As local residents, some of us students or ex-students of London Met/North London Polytechnic and UNL as was, Islington Against Police Spies support London Met staff fully in their fight to prevent the slashing of the workforce. The loss of these jobs would be a disaster for London Met staff, students, and our wider communities in North London.

We did say we only want the removal of just one lecturer – Bob Lambert, whose dark past makes him, we believe, an inappropriate person to be teaching in this institution. However, maybe a management that defends this dubious character to the hilt, while plotting to devastate education at its own university, also needs removing…

In support of all those threatened with redundancy and London Met workforce in resisting these cuts,

Islington Against Police Spies


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