The UCU branch at the Open University are in dispute with management over their proposals to close 7 of the English Regional Centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford with the potential loss of over 500 jobs.
A consultative ballot received a 38% response with 81% voting in favour of action.
A full ballot for action is now underway and closes on November 5.
Successful rallies have been held at two of the centres, Birmingham and Leeds and a “not a rally” event was held at the Milton Keynes campus to lobby a senate meeting.
Management had said that only ten people were allowed to attend the rally hence the “not a rally” event. It seemed a ridiculous intervention by management but enabled a humorous response. Ten people at any one time rallied, handed out leaflets and lobbied whilst other members were asked to form an orderly queue to take turns at “rallying”. At times there were over 50 people in a long queue waiting to rally. It was excellent for branch morale.
The senate meeting voted by 41 to 33 with 9 abstentions to reject management’s proposals but management have decided to ignore this and are taking the full closure proposals to the University Council in late November.
Two petitions are out on social media including one on 38 Degrees, MPs are being lobbied and the branch is working hard to secure a strong vote for ASOS and strike action. Further rallies and action will be discussed at the weekly campaign meeting.
Please support this campaign by:
Signing and circulating the online petition
Sending messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting further rallies – info here shortly….