Socialist Worker

Education round up: Mass resignations at Ruskin College

Issue No. 2667

A protest in solidarity with victimised union rep Lee Humber

A protest in solidarity with victimised union rep Lee Humber


The entire social work team at Ruskin College has resigned in solidarity with victimised union reps.

Social work is the biggest programme at the Oxford college.

Bosses imposed compulsory redundancies on four UCU union reps last week. It follows the suspension of UCU membership secretary Lee Humber earlier this year.

The union says bosses are targeting union reps because they have fought to stop their attacks on education. These include closing courses, failing to recruit students and running the college down.

Ten trade union leaders wrote to the college last month asking it to drop all disciplinary proceedings against workers and withdraw redundancy threats.

They included the general secretaries of the FBU, NUJ, NEU, UCU, Napo, Bfawu, PCS, POA and RMT unions.

The UCU should throw all of its weight into fighting to defend its members at Ruskin College.


Strike over health concerns

NASUWT union members at a school campus in Coatbridge, near Glasgow, were set to strike from Monday of next week until 6 September.

The action will involve 36 teachers at Buchanan and St Ambrose high schools.

They say there are health concerns about the school campus in Lanarkshire.

Workers say the campus, built on a former landfill site, is contaminated. Four former students and current teachers have been treated for bladder cancer since the schools opened in 2012.

Blue water ran from taps in the schools for a period of time. Union members at Buchanan school held a week-long walkout in June, and those at St Ambrose High School struck for four days.

An independent review has found that the school grounds are safe and that water samples passed drinking water standards.

The NASUWT said its “experts” are examining their report. It added, “Unless the NASUWT is satisfied that the site poses no risks to health our members will not be returning to work on the first day of term.

“Our members’ summer break has been blighted by concerns about the risks to their own and their colleagues’ health.”


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