Socialist Worker

Lecturers’ walk-out is forcing college bosses back

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2202

Strikes at colleges and universities across Britain are getting results.

Lecturers at Hackney College in east London struck for 24 hours on Tuesday against compulsory redundancies. Those at Lambeth College in south London joined the action for two hours at lunchtime.

Workers at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Conel) were set to strike with them. But their management backed down at the last minute and promised no compulsory redundancies this year.

They had wanted to impose 29 redundancies.

Nine further education colleges and three universities took part in a successful day of co-ordinated strikes against compulsory redundancies on 7 May.

Many managements have now retreated, which is a step forward. But in some cases, they have given guarantees that expire in July.

Others say that any compulsory redundancies will depend on the new government’s budget.

Some disputes are still live. Workers at Richmond College are set to strike on Thursday of next week. And lecturers at Bradford College became the first to strike under the new Tory government when they walked out on Wednesday of last week.

It’s likely that the Tories will seek to push through deeper cuts. Even if they don’t, the current level of cuts will be devastating.

The battle to save further, higher and adult education is only just beginning.

Six unions in England -Unison, UCU, ATL, GMB, Unite, and the ACM- have called a national day of protest against funding cuts and job losses in further education on 10 June.

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Tue 18 May 2010, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2202
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