Strike Action – Thursday 21 May – Strategy of escalation to follow!

13 May 2015 

We are writing to inform you of the significant decisions of the London Met UCU Joint-Branch Meeting held yesterday (Tuesday 12 May) at Moorgate, to decide on the form of industrial action to take following the result of our recent successful strike and ASOS ballot.

Given that we (UCU) have a Dispute Resolution meeting with representatives of the Board of Governors on Wednesday 20 May, the joint-branch meeting was determined that the Governors should be made fully aware of our strength of feeling and resolve to defend our colleagues jobs and the university. The joint-branch meeting was therefore united in believing we needed to announce a programme of decisive action – not simply an isolated one day strike, but one of effective action that would put significant pressure on the Board of Governors to pull away from the impending disaster of the VC’s current strategy of job cuts and shrinkage. 

With that in mind, the meeting decided on a strategy of escalating strike action and further escalation to a marking boycott should it be required. The meeting voted explicitly to initiate that programme of action with a one day of strike on Thursday 21 May – this has now been actioned by UCU HQ and notification made to the University, followed by a further request to our regional and national officials for strike authorisation for 2 days the following week, 3 days the next week, and followed by further action the next to coincide with the commencing of a full marking boycott.

It was decided that the strike on Thursday 21 May will consist of highly demonstrative action – notably a march along Holloway Road followed by a public rally with local councillors, MPs, student reps, and community activists under the banner ‘Hands Off London Met’. This will then herald the launch of a significant public campaign of resistance to the destruction of our university, our jobs, and the educational services on offer to our current and future students.

UCU intends to ensure our actions are fully, and democratically, organised and directed by our members. To that end, we will be holding weekly members strike meetings – that will commence with one on the first day of strike action on Thursday 21 May. These strike meetings will democratically review our industrial action strategy – in order to evaluate its effectiveness, strengths and weaknesses, and decide on how best we will collectively proceed in each of the following weeks.

Our colleagues in Unison will have the result of their own strike and ASOS ballot on Friday May 22 – and they are confident it will be a big vote to join us in resisting these unnecessary job losses. The joint-branch meeting therefore also agreed to coordinate our actions to ensure maximum impact. 

If we are to win the positive future we all want for our university we can’t now do so with one arm tied behind our backs. We owe it to our threatened colleagues and our students to fight to win.

In solidarity,

London Metropolitan University UCU

Photo: Mark Campbell (UCU), Max Watson (UNISON) and Jeremy Corbin (MP Islington North) at the Lobby of the Board of Governors, Central House, 12 May 2015.

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