Socialist Worker

Strikes to defend jobs, pay—and education

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2603

UCU members at Hull College met for a branch meeting on 1 May and showed their resolve

UCU members at Hull College met for a branch meeting on 1 May and showed their resolve (Pic: UCU Hull)


Strikes are planned in a number of colleges as workers fight to defend pay, jobs and conditions.

At Hull College, UCU union members were set to walk out this Wednesday against a plan to slash the workforce by a third.

They are also set for a strike on Thursday and Friday of next week.

Workers at Hackney College and Tower Hamlets College in east London were set to strike on Friday over pay. They plan a further strike on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

UCU members at Lewisham Southwark College in south London have called a 48-hour strike on 22 and 23 May.

Bosses have refused to implement a national pay deal of just 1 percent. Some 93 percent of UCU members backed strikes in a ballot.

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Lewisham Southwark College is set to merge with NCG, based in Newcastle, on 1 August. NCG chief executive Joe Docherty enjoyed a £227,000 salary in 2016-17, along with £33,000 in pension contributions and £21,000 from benefits in kind, according to the group’s accounts.

UCU members at Bradford College have overwhelmingly voted for strikes to stop an attack on their contracts and job cuts.

Some 88 percent voted for strikes in a ballot, on a turnout of 61 percent.

The college has announced plans to cut 75 jobs after it was issued with a financial notice to improve in March. UCU regional official Julie Kelley said, “Bradford College can be in no doubt about how angry their staff are at plans to cut jobs.

The money’s there to fund jobs and pay rises. Figures last month showed that over a third of college principals grabbed a pay rise of 10 percent or more in 2016-17.

Seventeen of them earned over £200,000.


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