Socialist Worker

Education round-up

Issue No. 2181

London students protested against fees and cuts last week  (Pic:» Guy Smallman )

London students protested against fees and cuts last week (Pic: » Guy Smallman)

Further Education pay

The UCU union’s further education committee (FEC) heard how devastating cuts of up to £340 million are due to hit the sector at its meeting on Friday of last week.

Adult education is set to be cut by 10 percent. Skills for life provision will lose £30 million while being expected to stretch to meet the needs of an extra 20,000 students.

Details of cuts in resources for 16-19 year olds are being estimated at up to 4.5 percent—and all this at a time of recession and massive youth unemployment.

The FEC also heard that many prison educators are facing a pay freeze. They are not even being offered the paltry 1.5 percent currently recommended by the Association of Colleges.

UCU members in further education will be balloted on pay from this week. UCU is urging members to vote yes for an escalating programme of strike action.

We hope to launch the campaign with a one-day strike and a lobby of parliament in the week commencing 25 January.

Alison Gander, UCU national executive member (pc)

Sussex redundancies

Lecturers at the University of Sussex voted unanimously in favour of a ballot for industrial action over compulsory redundancies at an emergency UCU union meeting on Wednesday of last week.

University management wants to cut 115 jobs across the life science, design, English, history, art history, philosophy, informatics, and engineering schools.

Around half of those facing redundancy are support staff.

Negotiations over the proposed cuts are ongoing, but the unanimous vote shows the determination of workers to fight if the plans are not dropped.

Workers and students have already staged a number of protests against the cuts and strike action would increase the pressure on management to back down.

Defending activists

Lecturers at Glyndwr University in Wrexham protested outside their university on Wednesday of last week in support of their sacked UCU union branch chair Hamish Murphy.

The UCU says that Hamish was dismissed on 7 October after exposing alleged bullying by management.

Lecturers voted by 70.5 percent for strike action and by 84.4 percent for action short of a strike in his defence early last month.

Last week’s protest was the first stage in an ongoing programme of industrial action.

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Article information

Tue 8 Dec 2009, 18:40 GMT
Issue No. 2181
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