Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Support UNISON and UCU coordinated strike action at London Met Uni - Wed 22nd June

Support UNISON and UCU coordinated strike action at London Met Uni - Wednesday 22nd June. Please circulate our joint union flier:

London Met UNISON branch have voted for strike action on Wednesday 22nd June.

See the poster below for more details:

For messages of solidarity email UNISON: or UCU: or London Met Student Union:

See here for details of day of action:

Sign our petition here:

Write to you MP to ask them to support us here:

Join London Met students and staff in our fight against massive job cuts and course closures. There are currently plans to cut 70% of courses – including Performing Arts, History, Caribbean Studies and Philosophy – and we already have 200 proposed compulsory redundancies in motion.

What is happening at London Met is a sign of what is going on in all our public services: mass privatisation.

And these cuts are the tip of the iceberg at London Met: if we accept these we will see them coming back for more and more.

Say ‘no’ to job cuts, course cuts and massively reduced and restricted provision of services to students.

Say ‘Yes’ to Education, work and widening participation.

This is a direct attack on the students, staff and the whole London Met community, and furthermore an attack on the ethos and principles that we hold dear: of widening participation and the value of educational opportunities and the pursuit of critical thinking that universities should provide for all.

We believe that arts and humanities subjects should be for all, not just for those who can afford £18,000 a year at privatised. The fight to save humanities starts at London Met and does not end at the elitist New College of Humanities.

Assemble at 2-3pm in Highbury Fields, march to London Met Tower Building, Holloway Road for a rally at 4pm-6pm (nearest tube Holloway Road)

Speakers include:
  • Mark Serwotka, PCS General secretary
  • Denise Bertuchi Assistant National Officer, UNISON Education and Children's Services
  • Mark Campbell, UCU NEC
  • Max Watson, Unison NEC
  • Clare Soloman, ULU President
  • Mark Burgfield NUS NEC
  • Claire Locke, London Met SU
and others to be confirmed...

Sounds of Resistance:
  • Live MCs
  • Samba Band
  • London Met Performing Arts
  • London Met Cheerleaders
  • T-shirt painting
  • Banner/placard Making

For updates, go to:

Face Book event:

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Southampton strikers need our whole union to rally round

Really good to see plenty of coverage for the strike in Southampton: the BBC, the local paper, as well as of course the left press and UNITED Left bloggers. So I'll just add our message of support, below and my tuppence worth on this.

At our 'We are London Met event' recently, discussing UNISON in a really good session on the Hidden Workforce, a colleague raised the issue of our union's reluctance to take strike action. Roger McKenzie, who'd attended to speak later on the Living Wage, responded that actually a large number (approx 80,000) UNISON members were currently either balloting or on strike at that time.

Whilst this may be true what struck me was 'that's the first I've heard of it'... (did I even hear right?)

One of our issues with UNISON when we took three days coordinated strike action in 2009 was that there was no UNISON publicity about it and we bitterly complained that our press release was dropped from the website without explanation.

"We should be shouting from the rooftops when our members take action to defend themselves", I said at the next HE conference about this.

So I'm delighted to see the current Southampton strike, led by fellow NEC member Mike Tucker (leftist and all-round good bloke), get good coverage from UNISON here:

UNISON News | The public service union | Southampton steps up strike action

I hope those larger, richer branches can dig deep - they need our support.

Our branch sent this message of solidarity yesterday, and I hope many others do the same especially following the plug on UNISON's website/ newsletter:

"We salute the courageous and exemplary stance your branch has taken, and we wish you all the best in your fight - an attack on your members is an attack on all our members. Your success will be ours too.

"We look forward to learning about a successful outcome to your ongoing strike action and we hope that our small donation goes in a small way to helping. Sorry it cannot be more at this stage - I hope that other larger UNISON branches will also dig deep.

In comradeship,