Goldsmiths local UCU strike, Nov 23rd – Dec 13th 2021

Goldsmiths Senior Management Team (SMT) is planning mass staff redundancies across departments this term, as part of a wider scheme of redundancies to be rolled out over two years. Management has informed us that it plans to cut 52 jobs this year: 20 academics in English & Creative Writing and History, and 32 professional services staff. The survival of courses in the departments of History and English and Creative Writing are in serious jeopardy, and the professional services cuts (to staff in timetabling, student support and other areas) risk causing chaos and harming student experience. 

This is part of what SMT terms ‘The Recovery Plan’: an attempt to use job cuts to improve the College’s finances. Goldsmiths UCU (GUCU) argues this is a bad plan, both in terms of the financial impacts and the injustice of the proposed job cuts themselves. Senior management also claims these cuts are required by the banks due to a deal that was struck with Lloyds Bank and Natwest bank, negotiated by the consultancy firm KPMG, committing to £4million of staff cuts this year followed by £2million next year.

In response to the threat of mass redundancies, and after several months during which management has refused to negotiate around the campus unions’ core demands for no compulsory redundancies, GUCU members have voted to take 15 days of strike action, beginning November 23rd 2021 and ending December 13th 2021, in order to apply pressure on SMT to take these damaging job cuts off the table.