Colleges set for shut down
SOME 30,000 college lecturers are to strike for the day on Tuesday of next week. Picket lines will be outside every further education college in England and Wales. The lecturers are disgusted over their pay levels. "Everyone knows that if we went and got a job in a school-where they are crying out for staff-we would be far better paid," said one lecturer who was preparing for next week's national strike action. Our pay has fallen behind but our workload has shot right up. It is beyond a joke now. People hoped for change from Tony Blair. Now we are angry at the whole way education is going, and our pay is part of that."
Members of the lecturers' NATFHE union voted by 66 percent for strike action, and 86 percent voted for action short of a strike. The union wants a �3,000 increase across the board for all staff. Another lecturer says, "We are chuffed to bits by the strike vote. "This is the first fully national action for about a decade. We've been divided, forced to have college by college ballots for action. But this time there will be picket lines and rallies all over the country. We will be all together. At my college everyone thinks it is a big plus that we will be on strike before the election. Blair promised 'education, education, education'. Instead in further education he has got one very big, very sick group of people. Nobody thinks we should wait until after the election. I have not heard of a single person saying that. Everyone is dead keen to get stuck in."