Campaign spotlight: Campus crisis

Jane Holgate, University College Union (UCU) branch secretary at London Metropolitan University

What's the problem?
Following revelations last year that London Metropolitan University was to have its funding cut, the university has spiralled into a financial crisis.
The Higher Education Funding Council claims that LMU submitted incorrect student records, resulting in a huge overpayment. Trade unions at the university blame incompetent management that has now led to the decision to cut 550 posts - a quarter of all staff.

How does it affect you?
The situation for staff at LMU is desperate. Over the past few months more than 100 staff have left as a result of voluntary redundancy and now other staff are being fast-tracked out of the organisation.

What are you doing about it?
The UCU has been campaigning against the mismanagement by senior staff and has provided reports on alternative ways of handling the crisis, but these have been rejected. There have been protests, strike action, pickets of university governors and letter-writing campaigns to MPs.

How can we get involved?
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This article first appeared in the 12 October 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Barack W Bush