Socialist Worker

Strikes to spread across education

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2591

On the picket line for pay in 2016

On the picket line for pay in 2016 (Pic: Jenny Sutton)


Tens of thousands of education workers are gearing up for strikes.

UCU union members in over 60 universities are set to start 14 days of strikes over pensions. Action begins on Thursday and Friday of next week.

And teachers across five schools are resisting attempts to turn their schools into privately-run academies.

This week UCU members in 16 further education colleges are the latest to join the fightback. Strong votes for strikes over pay showed the anger that exists among college workers.

Overall some 92 percent backed strikes on a 63 percent turnout.

UCU members are fighting a below-inflation 1 percent pay deal.

Margot Hill, branch secretary of Croydon College in south London, described it as a “great result that gives us a very clear majority for action”.

Only one college group, South Thames, didn’t reach the Tories’ 50 percent turnout threshold in the ballot.

Most of the 16 colleges set to go ahead with strikes planned to start with a two-day walkout this month.

They could coordinate the walkouts with UCU members in higher education.

In all the disputes, activists report that the fightback is pulling new members into the

unions. And each dispute shows bosses’ disregard not only for workers but for education.

The attacks are linked to a broader agenda of privatisation. That’s why so many students back the UCU strikes. It’s why parents have joined teachers’ picket lines in Newham and Brent.

The strikes are about the kind of education we want. Everyone should back them.


To see who is on strike in the universities, and when, click here

For Further Education see the colleges on strike and their strike votes below. The figures are percentages, Y is the strike vote, t/o is the turnout.

Capital City College Group (City and Islington College; College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London; Westminster Kingsway College) 96Y, 63t/o

United College Group (City of Westminster College; College of North West London) 90Y, 60t/o

New City College (Hackney Community College; Redbridge College; Tower Hamlets College) 94Y, 63t/o

Croydon College 88Y 68t/o

Epping Forest College 100Y, 56t/o

Havering College 78Y, 58t/o

Lambeth College 88Y, 66t/o

Richmond-upon-Thames College 93Y, 60t/o

Sandwell College 90Y, 63 t/o

Sunderland College 78Y 66t/o

Sussex Coast College Hastings 85Y 66t/o


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.