Stop the cuts in adult education
Around 100 students and teachers from Lambeth and Morley Colleges in south London lobbied Lambeth council on Wednesday of last week.
They were protesting against the cuts in English for speakers of other languages and adult education courses in borough.
A delegation addressed the council but the New Labour majority refused the lobby’s demand for a public meeting to review adult education in the borough.
Norman MacLean, Lambeth UCU
Birmingham to ballot over hours
Up to 1,500 mental health workers in Birmingham are threatening industrial action in a row about working hours.
The Birmingham and Solihull mental health trust is replacing its current eight-hour shifts for workers on inpatient wards, with new ones that will last up to 13 hours.
The Unison and Unite (Amicus section) unions have put in a grievance against the trust and are awaiting its outcome before deciding what form of action they will recommend.
Refusing to take substandard offer
Liverpool's refuse workers are set to vote on industrial action over pay.
Some 200 workers in the GMB union at Veolia, which took over all the city’s refuse collection responsibilities last year, are to be balloted.
The union says Veolia’s final offer is just 2.475 percent. The ballot ends on 28 November.
Assistants’ strike will have impact
Thousands of Northern Ireland classroom assistants in the Nipsa union were set to resume their strike action this week over pay and conditions.
The union’s 3,000 members plan to strike two days a week until Christmas. Many special schools will be affected.
The action was unanimously agreed at a meeting of a strike committee in Cookstown on Thursday of last week.
More than half of Northern Ireland’s special schools were shut during ten days of strike action last month. Strikes are set for Thursday and Friday of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Discussing Battle of Lewisham
Around 200 people attended a very successful conference hosted by Goldsmiths College in south east London last Saturday to discuss the events of the Battle of Lewisham in 1977 and its legacy.
The Battle of Lewisham was important in stopping the rise of the Nazi National Front. Speakers included Les Henry, a former sociology lecturer at Goldmsiths and reggae artist, and academic Paul Gilroy.
The Lewisham ’77 group hopes to put all the archive material, films, photos and personal testimonies available on its website.
Organising for fighting unions dayschool postponed
The Organising for Fighting Unions dayschool set for central London on Saturday 24 November has been postponed so that activists can attend the demonstration in support of sacked nurse Karen Reissmann in Manchester.
The event has been rescheduled for Saturday 2 February.
Dublin bus drivers strike
More than 100 drivers for Dublin Bus struck on Monday of this week disrupting the launch of two new bus routes.
Members of the National Bus and Rail Union are arguing that the routes – that will involve about 70 drivers – should start and finish at the better-equipped new depot on the outskirts of the city rather than having to make the journey into central Dublin.
The company suspended some of the striking drivers. The strike may spread to other depots.
NUT executive discuss pay ballot
The national executive of the NUT teachers’ union met on Thursday of last week to discuss the upcoming ballot of the membership over pay that is expected to start in December.
The executive decided to ballot for a one-day strike in the first instance and then discontinuous action at a later date.
The NUT is in a peculiar position as we are fighting against both this year’s pay deal and next year’s.
Balloting for discontinuous action means that we can be in a position to stimulate co-ordinated action alongside other public sector unions.
Kevin Courtney, NUT national executive (pc)
Over 80 parents, students and teachers attended a meeting at Pimlico School in Westminster, central London, on Tuesday of last week, to discuss plans to close it and reopen it as an academy. No one had a good thing to say about the proposal.
Parents spoke highly of the school and its teachers. Everyone is determined to keep it comprehensive and under the control of the community.