Socialist Worker

Five-day strike at Barnsley College

Issue No. 2275

Barnsley College UCU members voted overwhelmingly to escalate their long-running dispute into a five-day strike starting on Friday of next week.

The lecturers have already struck for four days in their campaign against compulsory redundancies.

College bosses have forced over 50 lecturers to leave. They have replaced them with lecturers on low-paid variable hours contracts.

Now they are determined to make one of the college’s joint UCU secretaries, Graham Mustin, redundant before the end of November—even though there is teaching work for him to do.

The UCU branch treasurer, Dave Gibson, said members packed into the union meeting. “More members came than we were expecting, and from the start the mood was determined,” he explained.

“The first speaker from the floor argued for all-out indefinite strike. Although that position did not win the branch over, it was debated seriously.

“No-one brought up how the Miners’ Strike was defeated, which is what we normally get in such debates.”

The proposal for a five-day strike was carried overwhelmingly, with only one vote against.

“We know that winning the strike vote is only the first step,” said Dave. “We will have to work hard to make sure the strike is solid.

“Key to that is going to be financial solidarity from other trade unionists, so we have launched an appeal to establish a £20,000 hardship fund.”

The fund has already had its first donation—£100 from Sheffield College UCU. Many other branches have promised donations.

The meeting also voted to support the Unite the Resistance Convention on 19 November.

Messages of support to joint branch secretary, Lee Short at l.short@barnsley.ac.uk

To donate to the Hardship Fund send cheques payable to Barnsley College UCU to: Barnsley College UCU Hardship Fund, c/o 33 Western Street, Barnsley, S70 2BT


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Tue 25 Oct 2011, 17:45 BST
Issue No. 2275
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