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Strikes begin today at Goldsmiths in jobs row

7 February 2022

Industrial action by UCU members will begin today at Goldmiths University as part of an ongoing dispute over plans to sack 46 members of staff.

Goldsmiths wants to make the cuts as part of a 'recovery plan' after years of financial mismanagement have left the university with a £12.7m deficit. The union says the 'recovery plan' is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university's finances. 

Following a failure by the university last week to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies staff have been left with no option but to take industrial action in defence of jobs. 

Staff will walk out today (Monday 7 February) and tomorrow, and follow this up with strike action alongside that taking place as part of UCU's national pay and pension disputes later this month.  

The full dates that Goldsmiths staff will be on strike over this dispute are:  

  • Week 1 Mon 7 & 8 Feb 
  • Week 2 Wed 16 - Fri 18 Feb 
  • Week 3 Mon 28 Feb - Fri 4 March 

The university has already been hit with a global boycott which means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Goldsmiths in any way possible, including by: 

  • refusing to speak at or organise academic or other conferences and events (with Goldsmiths or involving Goldsmiths) which do not directly contribute to core teaching duties on accredited programme 
  • refusing to participate in new non-research based partnership enterprises with Goldsmiths 
  • refusing to write for any academic journal which is edited at or produced by Goldsmiths 
  • refusing to accept new contracts as external examiners for taught courses 
  • relocating events due to take place at Goldsmiths to other venues. 

University and College Union regional official Barry Jones said:  

"Our members will not stand by whilst management threaten the academic integrity of the institution and try to make students and staff pay the price for catastrophic failures of governance. It is very simple for university managers to end this dispute, they need to guarantee no compulsory redundancies, save staff jobs and work with us to build a university to be proud of once again. 

'Taking strike action is a last resort for our members but the intransigence of Goldsmiths' management means we cannot sit by while staff jobs are attacked and students' education is put at risk. The university's saving drive is short-sighted and will have a devastating effect on staff and students." 

Last updated: 11 February 2022