Socialist Worker

London sixth form colleges prepare for strike

by Ken Muller, assistant branch secretary, Islington NUT
Issue No. 2289

London sixth form college teachers will walk out on strike on 23 February.

The teachers, in the NUT union, voted by 72 and 76 percent for strikes in two national ballots over cuts in college funding and attacks on pay and conditions.

Many of us are disappointed that the first day of action is restricted to London.

But teachers outside London can help turn 23 February into a national day of action by organising their own events and protests on the day.

College teachers in London should start preparing now, before the half term holiday begins this weekend.

Joint NUT rep at Islington Sixth Form College Ceinwen Hilton told Socialist Worker, 'Meetings should be called in every college as soon as possible.

'Nationally and – if possible – locally produced publicity materials should be used to build support for the strike among teachers, students and the local community.'

Ceinwen also stressed the importance of having a central focus on the day itself.

The NUT has called a lobby of parliament on the day of the strike. It would be good if this could be combined with a central rally in London that delegations of school teachers, students and representatives of other education trade unions such as the UCU could attend.

This is an important battle.

As Ceinwen puts it, 'Michael Gove's attack on funding will see colleges lose 12 per cent in cash terms over the next four years. This represents a huge attack on young people, especially with the cutting of Education Maintenance Allowance and student fee hikes.

'It will also lead to larger classes, reduced tutorial support and enrichment activities for students, course cuts and teacher redundancies.

'The Tory-led coalition has contempt for the needs and aspirations of our young people. Last winter students showed they were willing to fight back. Now it's our turn.'

Teachers at BSix sixth form college in east London have voted in an indicative strike ballot in defence of union rep James Drummond. Results are due next week.

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Article information

Tue 7 Feb 2012, 18:06 GMT
Issue No. 2289
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