‘The attacks on pay and on adult education are being led by the government. These are the issues that have led lecturers in further education colleges to vote for strike action.
Since 2005 we’ve had a new and very aggressive management at Bradford College which has attacked adult education and English language provision.
It has pushed through a massive redundancy programme that has led to increased levels of bullying and demoralisation among workers.
We built a campaign to stop compulsory redundancies, but many workers are hourly paid and on short-term contracts. Management simply doesn’t renew the contracts and last year we lost over 90 hourly paid workers.
The fight to defend pay and decent education are inter-linked. All the work we did in community centres with adult learners around Bradford has now gone. We have more management than ever, but adult education has been demolished.
Increasingly we end up teaching 14 to 19 year olds who have been excluded from school. But we don’t have the resources or the training to do it – they are being taught on the cheap.
Our UCU union branch has voted unanimously in favour of striking on Thursday 24 April. The fact that we’ll be out alongside other unions such as the NUT is really important – it means that we cannot be ignored.’