Using the slogan #OpenTheBooks, Goldsmiths Student Union and UCU (University and College Union) organised a joint demonstration on Monday 11 October, as representatives of Goldsmiths management met Lloyds and NatWest to discuss the College’s loans.
The banks demanded job cuts as a condition of a loan, and Goldsmiths pledged to hand over all its assets if the university defaults. It’s a terrible deal and it is one for which staff and students will pay for many years, if we don’t beat these cuts.
The UCU and the student union are demanding to know just how much profit the banks are making from the deal.
Goldsmiths have now announced redundancies affecting 32 members of professional services (administrative and support staff) and the equivalent of 20 full-time lecturers from English and Creative Writing and from History, in line with government attacks on humanities.
These redundancies are part of a radical “recovery” programme, happening over the next year, with more cuts to come.
A very well-supported indicative e-ballot of Goldsmiths UCU members showed 87-95% support for all forms of industrial action (including action short of strike, assessment boycott, and full strike) to fight these plans unless management meet the union’s demands for no compulsory redundancies and transparency over the College’s finances. A formal postal ballot will now start on 18 October.
• This week the lecturers at the Royal College of Art moved into their second week of action against casualised working conditions. 90% of staff are employed on “zero hours” and other insecure contracts.