Thursday, 29 September 2011

MUSU supports UNISON!

Middlesex Students Union have communicated their full support to UNISON and UCU in taking strike action next week.

“MUSU fully supports UNISON in its continuing struggle against the cuts.”

MUSU has passed a motion to  'Oppose cuts throughout the public sector'  that states: MUSU resolves:  To mandate the Students’ Union Executive to oppose all cuts. And to work with and support the campus Trade Unions in their struggle against these cuts.

MUSU sabbatical officers will be joining the UNISON and UCU picket lines to talk to students about why they are supporting our Strike.

Make sure you are alongside UNISON, UCU and MUSU on the picket lines on the 4th.

We have faced 4 months of restructures, redundancies and anxiety. We face more restructures, outsourcing and redundancies in the future. We all face extra work and stress. This is our chance to show the University the collective anger of the entire workforce over the redundancies which are the real threat to the student experience and the future of the University.
The students and academics are with us are you?

Contact your Branch rep for details of the picket and planned lobby of the Board of Governors on the 4th October

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Middlesex University UNISON votes to Strike!

Middlesex University UNISON Branch members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of Industrial action in the face of compulsory redundancies at the University.

UNISON members at Middlesex University will now join their UCU colleagues in a day of co-ordinated industrial action on Tuesday 4th October.

UNISON members have stood firm in the face of a rolling programme of restructures, losing colleagues to "voluntary" redundancies and the stress and uncertainty of their jobs being deleted, having to apply for other posts, redeployment pools and compulsory redundancy. Those left face increased workloads, stress, potential future outsourcing and changes to their working patterns.

UNISON members have stood united and said loud and clear 
Enough is Enough

UNISON believes that these severe and drastic cuts represent a serious risk to the University, cutting too fast and too deep; potentially damaging key areas of the University business. Middlesex University appears to be adopting a "more with less" policy without adequately explaining how already overstretched staff will continue to provide the "student experience" that the University relies on in their marketing.

UNISON members at Middlesex University will take industrial action not because it is an end in itself. We will take this action as a statement of intent. UNISON will continue to defend our jobs and student services at Middlesex University.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Middlesex UNISON Industrial Ballot Result

Middlesex University UNISON members have voted as follows in the industrial ballot regarding the potential use of compulsory redundancies at Middlesex University.

The results based on a turnout of almost 40% of eligible members are:

In favour of industrial action short of Strike Action : 93%

In favour of industrial  action in the form of Strike Action: 81%

As a union we are mandated by our members to deliver on motions agreed and voted for at our AGM. At which members democratically voted to uphold motions to oppose any compulsory redundancies. This was re-affirmed at an EGM in April before the Branch entered into dispute over this issue. We ran an indicative ballot in August over this issue to judge the strength of feeling and now a formal ballot.

All members have been given an opportunity to exercise their voice. Whatever action the Branch decides to take we ask that all members respect this democratic decision.

The results show a clear mandate for possible action. The Branch will inform members of further developments.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Middlesex University UNISON joins Barnet Independence Day

Middlesex University UNISON branch joined UNISON branches from across London and members of the public to support Barnet UNISON's protest Barnet councils "One Barnet Programme." Barnet council plan to outsource 70% of the council services to the private sector, David Prentis UNISON's National General Secretary described the councils plans as a "reckless gamble" and John Burgess leader of Barnet UNISON described the plans as "political dogma"

Middlesex University UNISON Branch and its members, apart from sharing the sense of outrage of what can only be seen as an idealogical attack on the public sector, are also concerned about the impact on the Barnet Pension scheme which Middlesex University Employees share with Barnet staff. UNISON commissioned a report on the impact of outsourcing on the pension scheme : the report was damming of the "serious financial risk" to the scheme.

Further information is available from Barnet UNISON's website.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Camden UNISON Local Government Branch Message of Support

Camden UNISON local Government Branch has passed on this message of support to Middlesex University UNISON in our fight against compulsory redundancies Camden UNISON has also pledged £150 for Middlesex UNISONs' Strike hardship fund should strike action take place

On behalf of the Camden Local Government branch I am writing to extend best wishes and support from our branch, with more than 3,000 members, to yours as it confronts what is most probably the most serious challenge in its history.

 At present, you are in the front line of a very serious assault on higher education and its workforce across Britain, but as the recent experience of the London Met branch highlights you can fight and win important concessions at the very least.

With some 200 compulsory redundancies now threatened by university management, you clearly have no alternative but to mount resistance including strike action in the near future. 

I understand that your ballot got underway last Friday and concludes in a fortnight's time (Friday 23 September). I am hopeful that it will deliver a very substantial majority in favour of strike action.

In solidarity,
George Binette
Camden UNISON Branch Secretary

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Campaign Campus Meetings : This Week

All UNISON members : Campaign campus meetings scheduled for this week.

HENDON :Monday 12th September 2011. Lecture Theatre C114: 12:30 - 1:30pm

ARCHWAY: Thursday 15th September 2011. Boardroom 3rd Floor Furnival 12:30 - 1:30pm

TRENT PARK: Friday 16th September 2011 M005 12:30 - 1:30pm

ALL WELCOME: Members and none members : Bring a none member and sign them up! We will be distributing and completing campaign material : available from here.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Middlesex University UNISON supports Barnet UNISON

Middlesex University UNISON Branch has offered this message of support to Barnet UNISON Branch. Though we are currently balloting for industrial action over the potential use of compulsory redundancies at Middlesex University, it is important to remember other struggles that are taking place. Our colleagues in Barnet are facing unprecedented attacks on their terms and conditions. Barnet UNISON will be taking a half day strike on Tuesday 13th September. Middlesex UNISON will join be joining Barnet UNISON to join their protest outside the Town Hall at 5:30pm along with Branches from across London.

Middlesex University UNISON Branch has noted with concern Barnet Councils pursuit of mass outsourcing of its workforce under the guise of “the One Barnet programme”

Plans to transfer 70% of the council workforce into the private sector represents an ideological attack on the Public Sector.

Middlesex University UNISON Branch stands in Solidarity with Barnet UNISON branch. We are currently in dispute with Middlesex University over the use of outsourcing and compulsory redundancies at the University and are ourselves balloting for Strike action.
As a Branch we applaud your plans to fight these proposals, and look to your fight as inspiration in ours.
As a Branch we pledge to join you on the 13th September at the Town Hall and to build links between our Branches.

Barnet councils plans represent not only a threat to the services many Middlesex University UNISON members rely on as residents of Barnet but also represents a serious financial risk to our members pension scheme should it be outsourced. Together we must organise and resist these plans.

Paul Howell

Branch Secretary on behalf of the Middlesex University UNISON Branch Committee and UNISON Branch

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Who's Side Are You On? : VOTE YES

Billy Bragg again. Anyone want to post other suggestions of union classics on our facebook pages? The best suggestion / most popular becomes our official Branch Anthem. Check out the Pete Seeger Song "which side are you on, on youtube for a Union classic

Power In the Union - GET THE VOTE OUT

Billy Bragg tells us why there is still power in the organised.

Friday, 2 September 2011

London Met UNISON Branch Backs the Middlesex University Branch

We are not alone: London Met UNISON offer their support.

London Met UNISON notes with concern the proposal by the management of Middlesex University to make 200 compulsory redundancies.

This is both a betrayal of trust and a slap in the face for hard working members of our union.

We gather you aim to resist these attacks and for this we salute your stance.

Having fought even greater numbers of redundancy proposals in 2009 ourselves, by which we saved 200 jobs and being currently in dispute over a succession of new rolling compulsory redundancies amounting to close to 200 (so far) over the last year, we extend our solidarity to Middlesex UNISON and Middlesex UCU in your own fight.

London Met UNISON pledge to support you in whatever way we can, and encourage your members to stand up with your Branch Committee and fight for every job.

We have shown in our branch that union action can really make a difference. Nothing is set in stone if unions unite and fight together.
London Met Branch Committee

Middlesex UNISON Branch thanks London Met for their Solidarity.

Messages of Support can be sent to

Middlesex University UNISON Branch Ballots for Industrial Action

Press Release: Full PDF document here

The fight over job losses at Middlesex University represents a fight against the impact of national government spending cuts in the Higher Education sector, as well as the way they are being implemented at the University.
Since the announcement of compulsory redundancies at Middlesex on the 9th June, UNISON has sought to negotiate with the University to avoid recourse to compulsory redundancies. We have questioned the University over their use of outside consultants and outsourcing companies (£2.5 million) failed business ventures in India (Noida) and the University estates strategy.

Middlesex University in its financial statements has claimed that staff costs to income remains “one of the lowest in the sector” yet it still believes it can cut further posts and retain the same level of service and education to its students. UNISON believes that these severe and drastic cuts represent a serious risk to the University, cutting too fast and too deep, damaging key areas of the University business.

The University prides itself on recent gains made in delivering the “Student Experience”: National Student Survey 2010, Guardian League Table 2011 and Complete University Guide 2012. Middlesex University UNISON Branch Secretary : Paul Howell states: “These gains have been delivered by University staff, now threatened with being made compulsory redundant. The increased workloads and stress created for the staff left behind will do little to improve this reputation, the University has used up what little good will it has.”
UNISON members at Middlesex have shown time and again at Branch Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings that they will not take these attacks on their jobs lying down. 

UNISON members have indicated overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot that they are prepared to back up this intention with industrial action.

This is action UNISON believes the Students Union and Students at large will support, and UNISON will continue to work with the Students Union in this campaign. 

Branch Secretary: Paul Howell states “Students recognise that these cuts are an attack on their education, the University still hasn’t adequately answered how they intend to mitigate the impact of these job losses on the student experience”

Middlesex UNISON does not take such action lightly, we have in conjunction with the academic and lecturers union (UCU) sought to resolve our dispute to avoid the need for Compulsory Redundancies and without recourse to industrial action. Even at this late stage UNISON would welcome a meeting with representatives from the University management to discuss a meaningful redundancy avoidance policy and an improved voluntary redundancy package to allow staff wishing to leave the University the opportunity to do so.

The UNISON ballot will open on the 2nd September and closes on the 23rd September. Subsequent action will be co-ordinated with UCU. Middlesex University UNISON Branch Committee.