Socialist Worker

Six colleges ballot for action against Esol cuts

Issue No. 2052

The UCU lecturers’ union is balloting its members at six further education colleges in London that are facing cuts to English for students of other languages (Esol) and adult education.

The ballot is of UCU members at Westminster Kingsway College, Conel, Lambeth College, Hackney College, Barnet College and Southgate College.

The colleges were facing cuts of £23 million until mayor Ken Livingstone recently announced that an extra £15 million had been found for this year.

The announcement has led management in some colleges to say that there will now be no cuts this year – but others say it changes nothing.

Beccy is a lecturer at Tower Hamlets college in east London, which is one of three other colleges where the proposed ballot has been called off. She told Socialist Worker, “There are no compulsory redundancies at the college – but there are voluntary ones.

“Lots of lecturers at the college are paid on an hourly basis or on variable contracts – and these are the people who are in danger of de facto redundancies.

“When Livingstone announced the £15 million we thought that the money would maintain Esol provision – but management has other ideas. The little sigh of relief was soon over – now we have to fight for equal rights for all staff.”

The UCU London region last week voted to support a demonstration over the cuts to Esol in London on Saturday 30 June.

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Tue 22 May 2007, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2052
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