Socialist Worker

Strikes at Chesterfield and Kirklees colleges

by Martin Jones and Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2359

Lively pickets at Kirklees college, Huddersfield, last week

Lively pickets at Kirklees college, Huddersfield, last week (Pic: Martin Jones)


Kirklees college

Lecturers in the UCU union struck at Kirklees College in Huddersfield and in Dewsbury on Thursday of this week.

They face compulsory redundancies and changes to their conditions.

The college wants to change the contracts of 60 lecturers including moving from 52 weeks a year contracts to 39 weeks. The staff will lose between £2,000 and £12,000. 

There was a very lively, vibrant and militant atmosphere on the picket line with 70 pickets present—many more than in previous strikes.


Chesterfield college

Lecturers at Chesterfield College struck on Tuesday and Thursday of last week against compulsory redundancies.

The walkout, by UCU and NASUWT union members, won lots of support from other trade unionists and students.

“We’ve had the best picket lines we’ve ever had,” said UCU branch chair Allister Mactaggart. “People are really up for fighting. Lots of people who could be made redundant have worked here for years.”

UCU members were set to meet as Socialist Worker went to press and decide their next steps. Bosses want to impose compulsory redundancies on 70 workers by 31 August.

Workers were set to find out this week who would be affected. Allister said, “The technicians in the Unison union only found out what’s happening to them this week. They face pay cuts and other nasty attacks. This means there might be a chance to broaden the campaign.”

There are fewer students now because of exams, so unions haven’t yet called further strikes. But they are planning stunts and a meeting with the local Labour MP.

 


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Tue 25 Jun 2013, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2359
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