Strike at London Met amid unholy row over chaplaincy cuts

June 22, 2011

Dozens of protesters turned out to protest against job cuts at London Metropolitan University, with chaplaincy posts the latest to come under threat.

Members of Unison and the University and College Union mounted a one-day strike and protest today over job losses and redundancy terms, following London Met’s decision to cuts its course offering by 70 per cent. Courses including history, philosophy and modern languages will be closed.

Mark Campbell, chair of the UCU branch, said: “We would like to be involved much earlier on in the strategic decisions so that we can discuss and challenge the redundancy proposals.

“We accept – we don’t like it – but we accept that in the current situation that some of these discussions will end up in the curtailment of jobs.”

The unions singled out the university’s decision to make redundancies in the chaplaincy, where there is a full-time Anglican priest and Imam, claiming this could be damaging to the local community as well as to the university itself.

Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, joined the protest, which marched down Holloway Road in London, where London Met’s main campus is located.

“London Met has taken on a large number of students who are local people who might not be able to go anywhere else, so I’m fully behind the efforts today,” he said.

Also marching was Sara Awayez, welfare officer for the students’ union at London Met. “The aim of today is to show that we are not in favour of the reforms and that we’ll do everything we can to not make them go through,” she said.

“If I didn’t believe we could make a change I wouldn’t be here.”

The unions claimed that the strike shut several libraries, IT facilities and the registry. However, a spokeswoman for London Met said that measures had been taken to minimise disruption to staff and students.

On the chaplaincy, she said she was unable to comment on individual members of staff.

The university said in a statement that it was “disappointed” by the strike. “We understand that this is a difficult period for staff at London Met but industrial action is not the answer.” Governors and senior management had maintained dialogue with the unions, the statement added.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride