Two-day strike starts at Goldsmiths

The union has previously called for an international boycott of the university over its plans to save £9m by 2024

Members of the University and College Union at Goldsmiths have begun strikes over plans for redundancies in the history and English departments.

The union has called for an international boycott of Goldsmiths, University of London over the plans which are, according to the college, necessary to save an estimated £9m over the next two years.

The union argues the redundancies, which could affect 46 members of staff, are the result of “financial mismanagement” and terms of new loan agreements with banks that necessitate spending cuts.

The two-day strike ends on Tuesday 8 February. Teaching at Goldsmiths will likely be affected by the national UCU strikes over pay and pensions later this month.

University and College Union regional official Barry Jones said: “Our members will not stand by whilst management threaten the academic integrity of the institution and try to make students and staff pay the price for catastrophic failures of governance.

“It is very simple for university managers to end this dispute, they need to guarantee no compulsory redundancies, save staff jobs and work with us to build a university to be proud of once again.”

The college told University Business last month: “Overall, Goldsmiths needs to save £9m in ongoing spend over the next two years to put the College back on a sustainable financial footing. Unfortunately, our English and Creative Writing and History departments have been unable to meet their savings targets, leaving a joint shortfall of £841,000.

“None of the submissions to our recent collective consultation suggested viable alternative proposals which would deliver the savings needed by 2023. This means a number of academics within English and Creative Writing and History remain at risk of redundancy. We will continue to support and advise those affected and work to minimise the number of redundancies across the College.”

Read more: Goldsmith decries global boycott

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