Lecturers at Harlow college took three days of strike action on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in their ongoing fight against the imposition of a new, unnegotiated college plan.
One striking lecturer told Socialist Worker, “The mood on the picket line has been great and we have had a lot of support from students at the college.
“People who have taught here for years will be forced to leave if these plans go ahead – they will not be able to afford to stay. So this is a fight that we have to win.”
Some lecturers face a £10,000-£13,000 cut in salary, a longer working week, an increased workload and shorter holidays.
Many teaching staff may be put on lower grades which could open the door to the use of unqualified teaching staff.
College principal Colin Hindmarch has hired a PR firm and spent around £2,000 on newspaper adverts, against the strike. He is refusing to meet the UCU union – despite an appeal by Harlow MP Bill Rammell.
Barry Lovejoy, head of further education at UCU, said, “Mr Hindmarch should hold negotiations and consult with the people who do the job: the teaching staff, not waste thousands of pounds on newspaper advertisements and image consultants – money which should be spent on improving educational services for the people of Harlow.”