Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 13 May, 2015 - 9:06 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

On Saturday 9 May, over 400 people marched from South Friern library in Barnet, to East Finchley library, then Finchley Church End before finishing at North Finchley library, to protest over proposed cuts to library services in the borough.

The march was joined on the final leg, from Finchley Church End library to North Finchley library by a double decker bus decorated with union banners, and a brass band.

Activists in Barnet have now completed 4 days of action, marching through all the libraries in Barnet.

The protest comes after Unison members in Barnet council were on strike on 30 April and 1 May (as reported in Solidarity 363). Unison have planned more strikes for 21-22 May and 1-2 June if the council does not reverse its decision to outsource up to 80% of its services.

Workers at Bromley council continue their strikes, and will next strike on 19 May.

Send messages of solidarity to: Barnet — John Burgess; Bromley — Onay Kasab

London Met UCU votes to strike

UCU members at London Met University have voted by 67% for strikes in response to management’s proposal to cut over 165 jobs.

71% voted in favour of action short of strike action. UCU members will meet today (Tuesday 12 May) to decide the next steps.

Staff and students today held a lobby of the London Met University board of governors meeting.

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.”

Sign the petition here

More college cuts

UCU members at Leeds City and Bradford colleges are balloting for strikes over job cuts.

Bradford College is seeking to save £8 million putting 140 jobs at risk. Leeds City college wants to cut wages and get rid of up to 146 staff, and bring in 166 lower-paid roles. Leeds City college UCU says this means the loss of one-in-four lecturing jobs at the college.

The cuts at Leeds City college come on top of 100 redundancies that were made in 2014. The college is now planning on closing three sites in Morley, Meanwood and St Bartholomew's.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'Further education colleges are experiencing difficult times thanks to big cuts in government funding. However, the pace and scale of the job losses at Leeds City College and Bradford College is astonishing.

“Colleges that are experiencing difficulties need to work with us to try and manage the situation. The last thing we can afford is knee-jerk job cuts that leave a lasting legacy on the local community.”

Reinstate Candy Udwin!

Candy Udwin, suspended PCS rep at the National Gallery, today (Tuesday 12 May) had her disciplinary hearing.

PCS members and supporters gathered outside the gallery to protest during her hearing. As Solidarity went to press no news had been heard about the result of her hearing.

Workers at the gallery have now struck for 23 days in their dispute over privatisation of gallery visitor services. Their union, PCS, is planning a national demonstration against the sell-off on Saturday 30 May, in Trafalgar Square.

Almost 10,000 people have signed the petition calling for Candy's reinstatement and strikers have made it very clear that they are also striking for Candy's reinstatement.

Sign the petition here

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