Imperial College No Confidence Vote Against Gast & Sanderson!

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UCU pickets at Imperial College yesterday morning

STAFF at Imperial College London have voted ‘no confidence’ in the university’s President Alice Gast and Muir Sanderson Chief Financial Officer demanding that they must go and that the college needs to implement a new governance structure.

UCU members at Imperial are currently on strike over pension cuts as part of the nationwide UCU strike on the issue involving 64 universities.

UCU regional support official Amanda Sackur said: ‘Staff at Imperial College London are calling for fundamental change, which needs to start at the top.

‘The endemic culture of bullying at Imperial has been an open secret for far too long. Yet Professor Gast and Mr Sanderson remain in post.

‘We need to see a root and branch review followed by a complete overhaul of the governance structure. Only then will the college be able to redress its culture of discrimination and intimidation.’

Meanwhile UCU pickets on the third day of their seven-day strike at Imperial College were determined to defend their pensions.

UCU member Jeffrey Vernon told News Line: ‘The pension scheme is in good health, if it is destroyed they can destroy anything.

‘It can easily be maintained.

‘The employers have become market orientated.

‘One college, Trinity College Cambridge, a big contributer, has pulled out of the scheme and the employers are worried about others pulling out.

‘They are thinking about risks and the market, not about our pensions.

‘The UK has the highest university fees for students anywhere in the world, even in the States there are lots of bursaries and grants for their renowned universities.’

Mayssoun, a lecturer at Kings College on the UCU picket at Bush House, told News Line: ‘I am from South Lebanon, I think it’s shameful for UK universities to sack lecturers for standing up for Palestine and the fact that they equate anti-semitism with any critique of occupation and colonialism.’

A lively picket of students and lecturers outside Goldsmiths University yesterday continued the fight in the running dispute against massive redundancies.

Paula Ktovides spoke to News Line: ‘I’m Professional Services Staff here at Goldsmiths University, so I am being made redundant.

‘I work in the Sociology Department at the moment, but my main role is in History. I had the opportunity to apply for a job in Central Administration, but I don’t want to do that because I know it will be awful.

‘So I have had to accept redundacy. It is just awful.

‘But the situation here at Goldsmiths has been terrible over the last year or so, with endless job cuts.

‘It just chronic, chronic understaffing. The expectations on the staff are so high. It has been very, very stressful and distressing really.

‘Management are being incredibly intransigent. They have been digging their heels in all along, they just don’t want to give an inch. So we have had to fight really hard.

‘I have just heard that Unison have balloted their members, and they have agreed to come out for the last week of the strike. So Unison will be out at the same time as UCU.’