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A section of yesterday’s lunchtime rally of striking staff and students outside London Metropolitan University yesterday
OVER 100 staff, students and lecturers rallied outside London Met University yesterday lunchtime, to vow to halt the wave of hundreds of sackings taking place at the institution.

Students eagerly took leaflets from pickets and joined the rally.

Two sites of the university were shut down by the support of staff and students for the 48-hour strike by Unison and the UCU that concludes today.

Naomi Bicharri, a business student, told News Line: ‘I don’t agree with the cuts and I feel all students should have equal opportunities to go to university.

Richard Cryan, a Unison library assistant, said: ‘We’re striking to save jobs and save the university.

‘What we’re hearing is the sector as a whole is facing cuts. But it is not the time to be cutting education.

‘Redundancies have already taken place on a large scale, some voluntary but not all.

‘There’s been substantial job losses already.’

Philippe Nadouce, a UCU French language lecturer, said he was striking to stop 500-600 people being sacked and reiterated that the sackings were already underway.

‘It’s incredible,’ he said.

Fiona, another UCU member, said: ‘I’m on strike because I’m worried about the future of the university and I’m unhappy that they’re closing the university’s nursery and making the university staff compulsorily redundant, and the fact that management won’t sit down and discuss meaningfully with the union at ACAS.’

Max Watson, London Met UNISON chair, told News Line: ‘Ladbroke House has completely closed because all the students and staff there supported the strike.’

Alan Pike, London Met Unison secretary, said: ‘Ever since London Met management announced they were going to cut over 550 staff we have said we oppose such drastic cuts.

‘They have rushed to do this and 160 voluntary redundancies have taken place and 100 compulsory redundancy notices have been issued, with a further 100 compulsory redundancies to come next year.’

Speaker after speaker at the lunchtime rally in Holloway Road called for maximum unity of staff and students to fight the cuts.

Students spoke up in support of the strike and London Met UCU member Alastair Smith said: ‘When you see all the support and solidarity, you realise we can win.’


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