Motion from London Met UCU

The following motion arguing for industrial action against job cuts and attacks on our academic staff contract will be put to a joint London Met UCU branch meeting next Thursday (7/3). We shall also be moving full support, and if necessary, a ballot on industrial action in defence of the London Met 3 (Max, Jawad, and Steve).

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MOTION A (LMBS Redundancies and Contract changes)

This meeting notes:

1. Management intentions to radically restructure the university’s Business School (LMBS) such that projected student numbers will be significantly reduced from current numbers, the majority of current courses will be closed or merged with others, the number of academic staff will be dramatically reduced by over 40% with an expected loss of around 150 actual jobs – equating to an estimated 100 FTE losses.

2. That all faculty academic staff, bar the Dean, will effectively need to re-apply for a job in LMBS as part of this huge reduction in posts.

3. The pool of jobs available for LMBS academic staff to apply for effectively guarantees that large numbers of such staff if not made redundant will be re-appointed at a lower grade. For example the number of Principal Lecturer posts available are to be reduced from 26 to 12, and the number of Senior Lecturer posts from 125 to 77, whereas the number of ‘Lecturer’ posts are to increase from 5 to 27. This is effective downgrading under threat of dismissal.

4. There is an intention to remove all HPL teaching hours from LMBS and to allocate all continuing work to the significantly reduced pool of permanent teaching posts.

5. Research posts in LMBS are to be reduced by over 55%, such that there will only be 7 FTE staff left with a dedicated research contract.

6. At the last Academic Board (26/2/13) the Vice-Chancellor, Malcolm Gillies, explicitly stated the Board of Governors was supportive of his proposal to unilaterally move away from the national academic staff contract in force at this and all other Post-92 universities, that guarantees a maximum of 550 hours of FST (Formal Scheduled Teaching) in an academic year (with a maximum of 18 FST hours in any particular week), in favour of an imposed local contract that will allow for up to 850 FST hours/year.

7. Unrealistic workload expectations is already the number one issue of concern at this university for the majority of academic staff.

8. As workload pressure have increased we have witnessed a concomitant increase in stress and other related health issues amongst staff as they have struggled to cope with the increasingly unrealistic workload demands placed upon them.

This meeting resolves:

To move immediately to ballot for industrial action comprising strike action and action short of a strike (subject to official UCU sanction) unless London Metropolitan Management agree to the following;

i. To suspend the current proposals for redundancies included within the LMBS s188 pending serious discussions to achieve a viable future for the LMBS faculty on the basis of its current levels of staffing (including a formal guarantee of no compulsory redundancies),
academic courses and student numbers.

ii To issue a statement re-committing the university to the current Academic Contract and current terms and conditions, expressly in terms of no move away from the nationally agreed 550 FST/year maxima.

Proposed by: Mark Campbell,
London Met UCU (Chair)

Seconded by: Cliff Snaith,
London Met UCU (Secretary)

on behalf of the London Met UCU Co-ordinating Committee

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