Covid-19 and a recovery plan – GUCU guiding principles

The following guiding principles were supported at GUCUs branch meeting 28.04.2020

The lack of transparency and meaningful consultation over the ‘Evolving Goldsmiths’ restructuring plan, and SMT’s insensitive response to the Covid crisis, including their belated closing down of the campus to safeguard the health of students and employees, are deeply connected. Evolving Goldsmiths, the proposed restructure that has now been closed down, was driven by the belief that the future of the institution could be assured by expanding executive positions, investing in building projects and threatening the jobs of those people on whom the running of the college relies.

This policy has been exposed as, hollow, out of touch and without vision. It has become patently clear that what students need is access to their teachers, affordable housing, funding and good student services, not more executives, or shiny new buildings. Our demands therefore address these interconnected problems. We need a Post Covid Recovery Plan that harnesses the expertise, experience, talents and skills of Goldsmiths community; and the re-establishment of democracy and constructive employer-trade unions relations

We call on SMT

  • to take appropriate measures to protect the physical and mental health of staff, as well as their livelihoods as we face short, medium and long term consequences of Covid-19, by complying with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations and those of the H&S officers of the campus;
  • to ensure that range of programmes, degrees and other qualifications are retained and enhanced;
  • to retain all colleagues currently employed in Goldsmiths, including those on fixed term and casual contracts in order to protect programmes and courses and, where appropriate, to support colleagues who, due to caring responsibilities, ill health and bereavement, cannot carry out their normal work tasks;
  • to halt all plans to increase the senior management team;
  • to halt all major capital projects until there is a return to financial stability;
  • to provide all financial data requested in line with statutory entitlement;
  • to meet with campus unions to agree a process for devising a Post Covid Recovery Plan, which has protecting students’ quality of learning and  jobs as core principles;
  • to pledge, once that agreed plan has been launched, engagement in genuine and ongoing consultation with the campus unions, regarding all proposals for change within the institution as a result of the Covid- 19 crisis.


If these demands are not met, we reserve the right to take appropriate action as a branch