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Goldsmiths staff vote to strike over 'incomprehensible' bonfire of jobs

28 March 2024

ʵ today announced staff at Goldsmiths University have overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action in a fight to stop the sacking of more than one in 6 academic staff at the institution.

Over 87% of ʵ members who voted said yes to strike action in a ballot with a turnout of 69%. Members also backed taking action short of strike, such as a marking boycott. The ballot is over plans to cut over 130 jobs at Goldsmiths. Management has now confirmed it wants to make extraordinary cuts that would see almost half the academics in the schools of arts & humanities; culture & society; and professional studies, science & technology axed (a role reduction of 91.5 from 262.9 full time equivalent). 

This includes sacking half the academics in history (a staffing reduction of 6 from 12 FTE), more than half of the academics in sociology (a staffing reduction of 13.5 from 25.1 FTE), and more than a third of all English and creative writing academics (a staffing reduction of 11 from 26.5 FTE). Anthropology, music, educational studies, theatre & performance, psychology, and social, therapeutic and community studies (STaCS) would also be cut drastically.   

ʵ general secretary Jo Grady said: 'The cuts being proposed at Goldsmiths are of such a scale they are almost incomprehensible, and it is no wonder that staff have overwhelmingly voted for industrial action. They are not just defending their jobs, they are fighting for the very future of this institution.  

'If management succeeds in steamrolling these devastating cuts through, Goldsmiths will be unrecognisable from the great creative powerhouse it currently is. Our members at the university have the union's full backing, this includes access to our local defence fund to support sustained industrial action. We urge management to think again and work with us to protect courses and jobs, otherwise Goldsmiths will see unprecedented industrial unrest.' 

Last updated: 8 April 2024