Socialist Worker

Buoyant walkout to stop cuts to jobs and courses

by Eleanor Woyen and Wendy Dobbs
Issue No. 2605

Confidence on the picket lines

Confidence on the picket lines (Pic: Eleanor Woyen and Wendy Dobbs)

Another huge, lively and determined picket line assembled at the main entrance of Hull College on Thursday of last week.

It followed picketing at all college sites in the city at the start of a two-day strike over job losses and course cuts.

UCU union members had previously held a successful strike on Wednesday 9 May.

Workers are fighting a plan to cut 231 full time equivalent jobs.

Workers said they wanted students at Hull College to have the same opportunities as students who study elsewhere. They could escalate to a three-day strike if bosses don’t back down.

This fight is crucial to safeguard education, jobs and pay. The college is a big employer in the area.

UCU joint branch secretary Dave Langcaster was pleased with the buoyant atmosphere on the large picket.

Striking catering workers provided food and drink while pickets were entertained with live music. Individuals and groups who came to show their support were warmly welcomed. Dave said, “We’re pushing the idea that it is for the community and future of the city of Hull.”

Rob Goodfellow, joint branch secretary of the UCU at Hull College, told Socialist Worker, “Diana Johnson MP and Emma Hardy MP have both asked questions in parliament and Hardy is meeting with education minister Ann Milton.”

The union believes that the management have shown ruthless and uncaring behaviour.

Another lecturer said, “This is an example of the marketisation of education.

“We are here because we recognise that this is another attack on the provision of education.

“The academisation of schools has led to decisions being based on profit and they should be based on the needs of children and young people. It also leads to a narrowing of the provision on offer.”

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