Workers at Barnsley College ended a three-day strike on Monday of this week. All three days were well-supported with over 30 members picketing at different times.
The UCU union members are fighting a restructure that would downgrade jobs, drive down pay and bring in performance-related pay.
Solidarity flooded in to the picket lines. Sheffield Hallam UCU brought a collection and their banner as did both Barnsley Trades Council and Barnsley NUT. Many more branches have pledged support.
Striker Andrea said, “The solidarity is uplifting. It shows us we are not alone. I addressed a meeting of London UCU activists last Saturday and got a fantastic reception. They collected over £270 for us and promised to organise a speaking tour of London colleges when we are next on strike.”
Workers have agreed to escalate to a four-day strike this month and five days next month if bosses don’t back down.
Striker Sharon said, “Morale in the college is low. But we are really standing together on the picket line. The prospect of our four-day strike will really worry management.”
Striker Tim agreed. “We are determined to resist now. There is a belief that we can fight and that we can force the college bosses to change course.”
The strike coincided wtih a 24-hour walkout over job cuts at Sheffield College on Thursday of last week.
UCU president Liz Lawrence joined the picket line in Barnsley on Monday. She told Socialist Worker, “The disputes in Barnsley and Sheffield are very important for UCU.
“For students to get a good quality education requires lecturers to be on good quality pay and conditions.”