Teachers in London sixth form colleges were set to strike and lobby parliament on Thursday of this week.
The half-day strike by NUT union members is against funding cuts and a pay freeze.
The sector is suffering from four consecutive years of
3 percent cuts. These are likely to slash more than a fifth from college budgets once inflation is taken into account.
A joint union survey taken last September found that 69 percent of colleges were already proposing bigger classes. And 51 percent were proposing more groups per teacher, 47 percent to reduce the range of courses and
33 percent to cut teaching time.
This squeeze on provision has led to increased attempts to push through redundancies.
And remaining teachers face 15 percent real term cuts to wages after pension reforms.
Thursday’s action can be a springboard for national coordinated action. Strikes on 28 March can revive the feeling that there is an alternative.
The ATL union is also now balloting over the pay freeze, and encouraging members to vote for discontinuous action. Their ballot closes on Friday.
The other main teachers’ union, NASUWT, may be able to join the action under its existing ballot mandate.