Socialist Worker

Barnsley College vote to strike against attacks

by Dave Gibson, UCU branch secretary Barnsley College (pc)
Issue No. 2167

UCU union members at Barnsley College have voted by 76 percent in favour of strike action against redundancies and College restructuring.

Management’s plans to include the widespread use of cheap-rate teachers – variously called associate teachers, instructors and learning mentors.

UCU members are angry that eight of their fellow lecturers have been forced into taking these roles, which for a lecturer at the top of the pay scale represents a pay cut of over £12,000.

Other workers have been forced into so-called at voluntary severance, because they could not stomach such a pay cut. The college is a victim of the government’s crisis-ridden college building programme, which encouraged collages to expand or renovate their buildings only to be told later that the funding was no longer available.

Barnsley College borrowed £10 million for a new building programme and has to pay back £500,000 this year, with even larger repayments likely in future years.

The UCU branch was set to meet on Wednesday of this week to decide what action to take, but it is already clear that only a sustained campaign will have any chance of forcing management to retreat.

UCU Left activists in the college are pointing to of the all-out strike at Tower Hamlets College as the kind of action with the best prospects of winning.

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Tue 1 Sep 2009, 19:16 BST
Issue No. 2167
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