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Boycott lecturers grey list’ London Met University over cuts

PUBLISHED: 08:01 31 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010

A NATIONWIDE campaign to boycott London’s biggest university over the threatened 550 redundancies is being launched this morning. The lecturers’ union is declaring the London Metropolitan the first university to be grey listed’ in Britain

By Mike Brooke

A NATIONWIDE campaign to boycott London’s biggest university over the threatened 550 redundancies is being launched this morning (Monday).

The UCU lecturers’ union is declaring the London Metropolitan the first university to be grey listed’ in the embittered nine-month dispute.

The beleaguered institution was told by the union in June that it would become the first to suffer an academic boycott following deadlocked negotiations.

Resolving the matter before tomorrow (Tuesday) looks unlikely, the union said today, as the dispute at Aldgate, Whitechapel, Moorgate and the main campus in Holloway drags on into its ninth month.

So it is pushing ahead with its grey listing’, asking colleagues across the country and the international academic community to support the boycott.

The London Met, which has 34,000 students, was hit by a £15 million reduction in its yearly Whitehall grant at the end of last year, while repayment demands totalling £36m were made by the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council. It followed incorrect submissions of student completion records by the university.

REDUNDANCIES

The UCU began a public campaign in June, including two strike days, to try and halt the threat to university posts.

“Yet the management appears committed to press on with 550 redundancies,” said UCU general secretary Sally Hunt.

“We cannot stand back and allow this university to be destroyed, or let hundreds of staff and students pay the price for a catastrophic failure.

“It is unacceptable for staff to pay with their jobs and students to suffer detriment to their education. Universities must be accountable for their actions.”

The boycott involves staying away from or speaking at university conferences, not applying for advertised jobs, refusing to give lectures or accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers or writing for any academic journal edited or produced on campus, or taking up contracts as external examiners for courses taught there.

A special report into the Funding Council’s role in the crisis was published in July after Vice-chancellor Brian Roper resigned in March.

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