Lecturers at Manchester College were set to strike on Wednesday of this week. They are battling bosses who want to rip up their terms and conditions and have already derecognised their UCU union.
Managers want to impose different contracts for lecturers who teach adults and those who teach 14 to 19 year olds.
A UCU member at Manchester College said, “It’s typical divide and rule. We’ve asked for negotiations, but management has refused. There’s a history of bullying.
“The derecognition of our union got a mixed response. Some think it’s made management look bad. Others think management can do whatever it wants and feel under threat.
“We’re organising picket lines, the strike will be solid.”
Lecturers say the new contracts are unnecessary and unworkable. Some teach both adults and 14 to 19 year olds.
They are also angry at the inferior contracts for staff teaching adults—which include more working hours, more time spent on preparation and marking, and less annual leave.
Workers are getting support from other trade unionists and are planning an escallated strike programme in September if management don’t back down.
And prison teachers working for the college are balloting for strikes—the college runs around a third of prison education in Britain.
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Keep an eye on the Socialist Worker website for a strike report