Teaching staff at Harlow College – members of the UCU union – have voted for strike action as part of a campaign to defend their contracts and jobs.
The strike vote follows management attempts to impose contractual changes with huge salary cuts for many staff.
The proposals would:
- make many staff redundant
- cut leave entitlement by over three weeks
- force staff to work up to 56 hours a week including Saturdays
- remove health and safety protection such as a maximum number of weekly teaching hours
Despite supposedly being in a consultation period on proposed new staffing arrangements, the college management has already begun internal advertising of newly defined posts on revised contracts.
The results of an UCU branch ballot for action were announced on Thursday 10 May. Some 76 percent supported strike action and 85 percent supported 'action short of a strike'.
Non-strike action will include a boycott of the newly advertised college posts of principal tutor, senior tutor and tutor. UCU says this will continue 'until such time as the college management meaningfully engages in formal consultation with a view to reaching agreement on the appointments process and job roles for posts – and negotiations on reasonable contracts of employment and pay scales.'
The UCU branch also agreed to take strike action, but the date for this has not yet been chosen.
Other activity is also planned, including a public meeting at 1pm on Saturday, 19 May 2007 at Harlow sports and social club.
A petition has also been started, calling for Governors of Harlow College to 'immediately intervene to safeguard service to the community by safeguarding conditions of staff on campus.'