Tuesday, 24 April 2012


> Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:53:02 +0100

> Dear ALL,



> The result of the UCU and UNISON Staff Survey on ‘Confidence’ in the Vice Chancellor and his Senior Management was as follows:

> 338 members of staff voted
> 306 staff voted no confidence in VC
> 32 voted confidence in the VC

> This represents a massive 91% rejection by the staff of the current Vice Chancellor’s unrelenting strategy to shrink, sell off or privatise the university’s physical, human and educational resource. It is a resounding “NO” to his policy on “shared services” (outsourcing). It is a rejection of his decision to close the Women’s Library and the Trades Union Collection. It is a condemnation of the student over-recruitment in 2011-2012 that led directly to a fine of £5.9m by HEFCE.
> It also parallels the rejection by London Met staff representatives and by the London Met Student Union of the Vice Chancellor’s ill-thought out views on Islam and drinking on campus. London Met Student Union is currently carrying out a parallel survey amongst their member on the Vice Chancellor and his policies.

> Malcolm Gillies has been Vice Chancellor at London Met for just two years since January 2010. He came in with the incredibly useful advantage (to him) of not being the previous Vice Chancellor Brian Roper and not being associated in any way with the previous Board of Governors who had resigned in December 2009. Virtually everyone at London Met was prepared then to invest confidence in him and to help him take London Met into a new positive future. That at least 306 staff reject him now is a damning indictment of the strategy he has adopted and the actions he has taken ostensibly for the ‘public good’ of London Met.

> We know that the turn-out in the survey would almost certainly have been higher had the Vice Chancellor not 'requested' staff in a formal ALL-STAFF communication not to take part in the survey. This intimidation was accompanied by threats to UCU and to UCU local officers if the survey was not withdrawn.

> Ironically at various points in his ill-chosen very public debate over Islam the Vice Chancellor has referred to internal debate going on at London Met into this and other issues. The reality is that our current Vice Chancellor cannot stand any debate at London Met over anything and has sought to suppress this vote of confidence for fear of the result. At a very insecure moment with ongoing job loss, we understand why quite a few staff felt too nervous to even take part in the survey. A significant number of staff have already stated this to UCU officers. This in itself is a worrying reflection of the situation at London Met! We therefore do genuinely thank those many members of staff (UCU, UNISON and non-members who we hope will now become members!) who nevertheless did vote.

> It is now clear that the current Board of Governors of London Met must intervene and re-direct the current flawed management of London Met. UCU, UNISON and the leadership of the London Met Student Union have sent the results of the survey to all governors and have requested a formal meeting with the Board as soon as possible.

> UCU members have recently voted in favour of strike action and action short of a strike following London Met management’s refusal to reduce in any way the number of current redundancies required under the s188. We will be discussing how to take forward that ballot at the next UCU meeting Wednesday May 2rd (see below). As part of the unions’ unilateral attempt to reduce redundancies, UCU and UNISON have already sought a meeting with the Board of Governors under the university’s dispute-resolution procedure. We have invoked this procedure to seek means to avoid 229 job losses by the end of July 2012 and the threat of a further £11million cuts in staff costs by the end of July 2013. We also wish to discuss with the governors the other elements of our dispute, the threat of new contracts and the appropriate levels of resource for subjects being ‘taught out’ in 2012-2013.

> To date the university has not responded with dates for meetings with Governors. Given the result of the Vote of No confidence we now have a mandate to go to the governors directly not just over the issues covered in the industrial dispute but also over management’s strategy for shrinkage at London Met.

> We will also be putting a version of this email out to the press and to HEFCE.

> UCU members are reminded that the next UCU ALL Member Meeting will be at City Campus on Wednesday May 2rd. At that meeting we will be discussing further steps arising both from the recent Industrial Ballot and the Vote of No confidence. Full details will follow. Please do attend.

> UCU Co-ordinating Committee

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