June 22, 2007

London Met corporate bullying - 2

Anonymous said...

The extent of corporate bullying at London Met is matched only by the incompetence of its senior management. Particularly since the University lost the high profile dispute over contracts following the merger there has followed a steady process of retrenchment by the management. Academic staff have gradually been removed from key committees which have been taken over by bureaucrats acting at the behest of their senior managers. Since the merger new modular course structures, forms of student support, systems of quality assurance have all been imposed with minimal consultation with the teaching staff who have to deliver them. This would not be so bad if what has been imposed were halfway effective. But while the new structures and processes are widely recognised (including by Heads of Department) to be at best half-baked and at worst severely destructive of good practice, the senior management of the institution remains completely out of touch with the realities of higher educational delivery, protected by the middle layer of mediocrities they have put in place to do their bidding. If the University Management could get themselves down to 50% of the criteria for the Hall of Shame, this would be a major step forward. Please consider this a formal nomination.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

UCU Co-ordinating Committee has received information that the governors approved management’s proposal for a significant number of redundancies – almost certainly including compulsory redundancies – among the academic staff of the University. We understand that as many as 60 have been authorised but there is a possibility that some of these may be averted or postponed for a while.

However, as far as we know, one department will have no possible stay of execution: 35 redundancies are proposed in CCTM. Given that there are only just over 100 academics there (already down from over 130 staff a couple of years ago as a result of the last couple of rounds of voluntary redundancies and non-filling of vacant posts), this amounts to a savage attack on the department. It is also clear that the University is in a hurry, allowing only the legal minimum of 30 days’ consultation.

Worse still, the Director of HR is not proposing to consult UCU at all. Claiming that there is no recognised union for academics, she is proposing to organise some form of election for staff to elect representatives for the consultation process.

In the past three years or so there have been two rounds of voluntary redundancy in which 110 posts were eliminated. Management announced that their aim was to lose 170 posts over five years; if they lose another 60 posts now they will have achieved this in a much shorter time. Serious questions must be asked about the financial running of the University and the competence of senior management (and, indeed, governors). How is it possible to threaten the livelihoods of 60 members of staff, hit teaching and the ‘student experience’ – remember that? – while simultaneously announcing the recruitment of another highly-paid Deputy Vice Chancellor and a plan to pay over the odds for large numbers of Superprofs?

This is the most serious development since the merger. It threatens not just the department concerned but the University as a whole.