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Staff at London Metropolitan University vote to strike over 165 job cuts

11 May 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Staff at London Metropolitan University have voted to strike in protest over 165 job cuts.

Two thirds (67%) of UCU members who voted at the north London university backed strike action, while 71% supported action short of a strike.

UCU members will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the next steps including strike action over the proposed job losses which will include academic and professional support staff. Members of sister union UNISON have taken part in a separate ballot which is due to close on Friday 22 May.

Staff and students are also set to lobby London Metropolitan University's board of governors tomorrow (Tuesday) from 4.30-6pm at Central House, 59-63 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7PF. They are calling on the university's governors to work with them to develop an alternative plan to help to grow the university to secure its future.

A petition against the job cuts has already received widespread support from signatories including politicians, union leaders, staff and students.  

Campaigners have highlighted the university has an exceptionally strong record in providing educational opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged groups in society. In 2012/13, half (50%) of its students were from minority ethnic communities, compared to just 16% of university students nationally. Just over half (52%) of London Metropolitan's full time undergraduate entrants that year were mature, compared to a quarter (23%) nationally. Half (51%) of London Metropolitan University's undergraduate entrants in 2012/13 were from the bottom four socio-economic groups, compared to just a third (33%) nationally.

UCU regional official, Barry Jones, said: 'Our ballot result shows that many staff firmly believe making more cuts is the wrong direction for London Metropolitan University. This is an inner-city university with an outstanding record of bringing people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education. Far from further cutbacks, this university is in desperate need of investment to expand access to education. 

'We urgently call upon the university's leaders to turn away from a misguided strategy of shrinkage and job cuts and work with us to develop a plan that gives the university the best chance of survival and to thrive in the future. Nobody wants to be on strike and we remain open to sitting down to explore a better way forward than these job losses.'

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