To mobilise for our local dispute, GUCU is setting up a local strike fund to help our members to cover the costs of striking over the SMT’s planned redundancies. This fund is particularly important for those on precarious contracts, but is meant for all staff participating in industrial action. We need your help in spreading the word about this fund –solidarity and a hopefully a generous donation. Anyone can make a bank transfer or write GUCU with a cheque using the details below, or pay online here:
We hope you will also raise the following motion at your union branch/in your local organisation: https://goldsmithsucu.org/2021/10/19/gucu-strike-fund-motion/
Name: UCU Goldsmith College Hardship Fund
Account number: 20392303
Cheques payable to:
UCU Goldsmith College Hardship Fund
18 Laurie Grove
Why are we balloting?
Goldsmiths’ Senior Management Team (SMT) wants to make 52 staff redundant across the College – 32 in professional services and 20 academics in English & Creative Writing and History. This will mean axed degree courses, administrative chaos, increased workload for staff and fewer services for students, which means a worse student experience. And it’s only the start: SMT wants £6m worth of staff cuts over two years.
Management continually tells us that it needs to make staff redundant to fix the College’s finances. This is false. Goldsmiths UCU (GUCU) believes that not only are there other, better ways to restore the College to financial health but, more importantly, these cuts risk setting Goldsmiths into a spiral of decline.
SMT’s austerity strategy has been disastrous: it has failed to calculate the likely impact of loss of income from cutting, spent £3.5m on the restructure, consultants and various change managers and signed itself up to highly restrictive bank loans from Lloyds and Natwest, with terms including requiring the College to make permanent surpluses.
What is the alternative?
GUCU is asking why management can’t seek government assistance, proactively fundraise, stop spending resources on unnecessary consultants and instead adopt a strategy for how to grow by building on Goldsmiths’ global reputation.
We believe there is a clear alternative to mass redundancies. To this end, we are balloting for industrial action, alongside the national ballot. We are demanding that Goldsmiths SMT:
- Cancel the consultants, redeploy resources away from the restructure and towards growth (fundraising, student recruitment)
- Open the books so staff, students and the Goldsmiths community can see full accounts and the terms of SMT’s deals with the banks
- Go back to the drawing board with the banks: the covenants must be renegotiated to allow for growth
- Lobby the government for short term financial aid and long-term reform of HE funding
- Reform College governance structures so this disaster never happens again