By a striking lecturer
SOME 1,500 lecturers in Scotland were set to strike for two days this week, following two successful strike days last week. Paisley University staff planned a rally and demonstration on Wednesday. Glasgow Caledonian lecturers were to lobby their college management on Thursday.
Most other colleges were to hold rallies, and asked other trade unionists and students to join them. The lecturers work at Scotland's eight "new" universities (old polytechnics) and colleges of art. We are furious that management want to impose a new contract, "Partnership 2000", on all new staff. The new contract is a disaster for staff, students and education in general. It would mean an unlimited working week and a 20 day cut in annual leave. We are determined to stop the plan.
The first two strike days last week were extremely solid. There were lively pickets of 50 to 60 at nearly every college involved. Very few lectures took place, and lecturers joined the union to take part in the strike at a number of colleges. There was an even bigger picket on the Wednesday as many staff turned up to mark International Women's Day. At one college management have admitted last week's strike had a very serious effect.
Lecturers in the new universities in Scotland have our own section of the EIS teachers' union. There was a good mood at our annual general meeting last weekend. Delegates voted unanimously to step up the action by calling for an immediate ballot for other disruptive forms of action, including a boycott of some procedures. The conference also unanimously passed motions calling for the repeal of Section 28, and attacking the anti - abortion group Precious Life. Students have responded excellently to the strikes.