Thursday, 12 February 2009

Petition against London Met's senior management's attack on Dr. Amanda Sackur, chair of London Met's University College Union. (UCU)

Union officials are calling for senior management at crisis-torn London Metropolitan University to halt its “intimidation” of a senior lecturer ahead of massive job cuts at London Metropolitan University.

"Dr Amanda Sackur, a lecturer in African politics and colonial studies who also chairs London Met’s University College Union (UCU), is accused of “serious misconduct” after she attended a campaign meeting in Nottingham Trent during “office hours”. UCU officials say the implications of her upcoming full disciplinary hearing were “immense” at a time when London Met is proposing mass redundancies.

Mark Campbell, UCU co-ordinator at London Met, said: “They are totally unjustified and appear designed to intimidate or worse, force her out of her job for steadfastly representing her colleagues at a time when the university is facing the gravest financial crisis in its history. We call upon the vice-chancellor, management and governors of the university to act immediately to withdraw the proceedings against Dr Sackur, work with the recognised trade unions in facing the current crisis, and abandon the contemplated large-scale compulsory redundancies that, if implemented, will place in serious jeopardy both the education of current students and the existence of the institution.”

London Met has been told to repay £38million in government funding it wrongly claimed over three years. It follows an audit by the Higher Education Funding Council England. The university intends to claw back some of £38m by cutting up to 500 jobs.

A university spokes­man dec­lined to comment on Dr Sackur’s case."

(Source: Islington Tribune, "Drop case against lecturer, University told.")

In Times Higher Education, Melanie Newman wrote the following in regards to management's attack on Amanda Sackur:

"Amanda Sackur, chair of the University and College Union co-ordinating committee at London Met, has had disciplinary procedures taken out against her after she left the university to take part in union activities in Nottingham.

Managers are understood to have accepted that Dr Sackur spent more than nine hours on academic work on the day in question, but contend that her absence from London Met's premises between 9am and 5pm was unauthorised.

The UCU said the matter raised questions about lecturers' terms and conditions, as there had never been an explicit requirement that they stay on university premises. It said it represented an attack on the union ahead of job cuts."

And further on:

"Barry Jones, UCU assistant general secretary, warned members on the same day that the action "may be an attempt to soften the union" in advance of Mr Roper's plan for large numbers of compulsory redundancies at the university."

Please sign this petition in defense of Dr. Amanda Sackur. You can also find a link to the petition on the right hand side.

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