GUCU Motion For Action Against Redundancies

Branch Motion passed at GUCU branch meeting on Weds 15 Sept, 12.30-1.30. 191 in favour, 1 Against, 1 Abstention.

This branch notes:

–          The University’s threat to make 80-100 members of staff across the university redundant over the course of the 2021/22 academic year

–          These redundancies are part of a wider reorganisation which will have significant negative effects on the working conditions of all staff and the university’s capacity to meet its responsibilities towards its students.

– Management’s proposals utilise non-transparent metrics of department performance to identify a pre-determined percentage of the workforce for disposal. 

–          The University has consistently failed to demonstrate its commitment to Equalities and exhibited a poor understanding of the impact of its policies on colleagues with protected characteristics.

–          These proposals are part of a “Recovery Plan” agreed by senior management and banking partners in an entirely opaque process, against the express concerns of staff organisations and good governance practices.

–          -Despite its name, this “Recovery Plan” will significantly hamper the University’s recovery and capacity for growth, as key expertise will be lost across administration, teaching, and research.

–          This comes at the height of the global pandemic, an abject failure of the university’s social responsibility towards staff affected, their families, and our students.

This branch believes:

–          There are no genuine grounds for compulsory redundancies. The supposed need for redundancies is a result of the agreements with financial institutions entered into by Goldsmiths senior management.

–          The problems which the “Recovery Plan”, including agreements with financial institutions and widespread redundancies, are intended to address are themselves the result of long-term financial mismanagement by senior management.

–          Throughout the process, the Senior Management Team has failed to consult in good faith with the campus unions; it is clear that large-scale compulsory redundancies were proposed well in advance of any meaningful consultation with the unions.

–          That this attack on jobs is the latest in a long line of failings and mismanagement by the University’s Senior Management Team.

This branch resolves:

–          To recommend all colleagues not to engage with any individual discussions about redundancy until the process of collective consultation is complete. 

–          The branch will issue the University with a Failure to Agree Notice (FTA) on 15th of September, 2021, a first step towards launching an industrial dispute.

–          To issue an immediate invitation to colleagues across the University who are not members to join if they are eligible to do so.

–          To ballot for industrial action (strike action and action short of a strike, including but not limited to, a full assessment boycott, action targeting student recruitment and discovery days).

–          To carry out a public campaign which highlights the actions of the University’s Senior Management Team and builds support and solidarity through our local, national and international networks.

–   To seek the UCU Higher Education Committee support for this dispute as a dispute of national significance.