Town centre university facing union dispute over job cuts

London South Bank University, including its new campus in Croydon, could be heading for an industrial dispute, as the country’s 126th-best university* looks to lay-off up to 100 staff.

Library cuts: jobs going at the LSBU Croydon campus include two librarians

Unison, the trades union, has lodged a formal dispute against LSBU over its redundancy and cost-cutting plans.

Unison accuses university managers of failing to consult properly with staff and their unions.

The union held a rally to protest against the changes last week and launched a petition opposing the plans, which already has nearly 3,000 signatures.

The job cuts represent about 6per cent of the university’s 1,700 workforce, which includes porters, cleaners and librarians as well as lecturing staff.

The former South Bank Poly set up its Croydon Campus in Electric House on Wellesley Road, opening in September 2021, where it offers a range of nursing, business and accounting courses.

Sources at the union say four of the jobs under threat are at LSBU’s Croydon campus, including one manager position, two in the library and a porter, whose job is to be outsourced.

Jonathan Buckner, the Unison branch secretary, said, “These plans are damaging not just to staff, but to the welfare of students.

Rally action: Unison members gathered for a rally at the university last week

“These workers have essential roles and provide day-to-day support for thousands of people. Without them the student experience simply will not be the same.

“The university has failed to provide any clear explanation for the cuts or for the plan to transfer many staff to a private company. Outsourcing usually leads to worse conditions, including pay, sick pay and holidays.

“It’s a dreadful way to treat people who risked their lives to work on-site during the pandemic. The university must work with Unison to resolve these issues.”

* According to the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.  That’s more than 25 places lower than when LSBU moved into Croydon…

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