The UCU union members face a “restructure” that would downgrade jobs, slash holidays and bring in performance-related pay.
Around 30 strikers picketed at the college despite severe snow. Lee Short is branch secretary of Barnsley College UCU. He told Socialist Worker, “We covered four of the main town centre sites, which we haven’t done before.
Bosses claimed that the college was open as usual, but Lee said, “It had a big impact. Students told us they’d been sent home as there were no classes.”
Strikers have won support from other trade unionists across
Lee said, “The meeting was really resolute. We have won some concessions – for instance improved sickness benefit – but we haven’t won anything on the substantive issues.
“We feel the things we are asking for are not unreasonable or unaffordable.”
College principal Colin Booth, who was awarded an OBE in the queen’s New Year Honours list, wants to change some workers’ job titles which would slash their pay. He also wants to bring in performance-related pay and cut holiday entitlement.
Lee said the strikes had “clearly scared” the principal. He added, “We’ve had lots of messages of support and they all make a difference.
“Some people will feel the pinch – especially those on hourly contracts or on very low pay. We are asking people to keep donating to our strike fund."