College and university lecturers are returning to work after the summer break and gearing up for action.
The main issue in further education colleges is pay.
The UCU union’s national further education executive rejected the last pay offer of 2.55 percent from the Association of Colleges in July.
The union is committed to a month of meetings and consultation in the branches, leading to a special pay conference on 6 October.
Activists are urging local branches to endorse the leadership’s rejection of any pay offer less than inflation, and to build links and solidarity with other groups of workers.
Pay rallies and local coordinating meetings are already taking place in many areas.
Last year saw substantial opposition to the cuts in Esol (English for speakers of other languages) provision. This has involved demonstrations, lobbies, public meetings and a national conference.
Although the protests have produced some concessions from the government these don’t go nearly far enough to satisfy campaigners.
Meetings and protests are planned for a day of action on 19 September, to be followed by a national demonstration later in the autumn.
Meanwhile, around 100 staff have left Harlow College in Essex following the introduction of new, unnegotiated contracts by management.
Staff who remain are angry. The branch is reorganising itself and has planned further action to keep up pressure on management while negotiations continue about jobs and contracts.
Send solidarity messages to Harlow College UCU Branch, c/o Liz Martins, UCU London office (FE), 27 Britannia Street, London WC1X 9JP.