Goldsmiths College Council and Senior Management Team (SMT) are planning to make mass redundancies and have promised banks such as Lloyds and Natwest that they will make staff cuts of £4m this year and another 2 million next year, which will result in 52 job cuts this year alone. Over the years, Goldsmiths has mismanaged its finances, resulting in the banks deciding what your education will look like, which does not include the cuts to the senior management team's salary. 14 academic staff have already been threatened with redundancy, including all lecturers on the MA Black British course and the MA Queer History lecturers. The SMT are also looking to make £2m of job cuts to professional services, and they have already announced that 32 professional services staff are at risk of redundancy.
What does this mean for you? First, we know that these cuts will cause chaos for students at a time when departments across the college are already severely understaffed, and we are all still feeling the impacts of the pandemic. Second, in the longer term, this means fewer courses, less individual and collective support for students and possibly the merging or closure of entire academic departments.
If students and staff do not act now, more staff will be made redundant, and more student-facing services will be cut. The cuts to the English & Creative Writing and History department is just the beginning. As we stated last year, SMT will continue to further entrench neoliberal logic into the structures of the university; this logic will directly impact students' learning experience and take away from the quality critical learning that so many of you came to Goldsmiths to receive.
Your concerns about a potential industrial action remain valid, and we will continue to work with GUCU (Goldsmiths University and College Union) to ensure the impact on students' experiences is mitigated through what is already a challenging period to be a student. We do not underestimate how challenging these last years have been, you have been consistently failed by both the government and universities, and we will continue to fight for you alongside staff.
We are at a critical time where collective organising guarantees our voices are heard, and our struggles for a better education system are won. The banks will not decide the future of Goldsmiths, our education will not be sold, and staff/students will not be collateral damage to the institution's financial mismanagement over the years.
We must remember that our struggles are all interconnected, and we must continue to collectively resist the dangerous decisions Goldsmiths College Council and Senior Management Team (SMT) makes. We resist for students, we resist for workers and because we believe in a transformative education system, not a marketised education system that will only profit the elites. Once again, Goldsmiths Students' Union stands in full solidarity with GUCU and workers across the campus and country who are fighting for better conditions.
How can you help?
- Sign the open letter to Professor Frances Corner, OBE, Warden of Goldsmiths, Council & Senior Management Team.
'We call upon Frances Corner, upon Council, and upon Senior Management to halt the decimation of the departments of English & Creative Writing and of History, the redundancies within professional services and the current restructuring plans, and to find, in collaboration with their staff, more sustainable and more effective solutions that will protect not only the livelihood of their dedicated and loyal employees but also the reputation of the institution.'
- If you are interested in doing student-staff solidarity and support work during and before industrial actions here’s a sign up sheet.
- Join the GUCU' solidarity and sandwiches' rally every Friday between 12-1pm in front of Richard Hoggart Building for any questions or concerns. Follow GUCU on all social media platforms for more information @GoldsmithsUCU
- We will also be having open student forums soon.