Workers at Nottingham College have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end a long-running dispute. Some 15 days of strikes by UCU union members—and the threat of more—has blocked bosses’ attempts to drive down their pay and conditions.
Management wanted to impose new contracts that would have slashed pay, scrapped protections on workload, cut sick pay and holiday entitlement.
A new deal means bosses agree to retain workload protections and avoid pay cuts. Cuts to sick pay have been ruled out and holiday entitlement is set to stay at current levels for two years.
Negotiations on a new pay framework and workload agreement will continue.
UCU members last week voted by 90 percent to accept it after the branch recommended a Yes vote.
Workers are now more confident that they can beat back any attacks in the future.
Cleaners win solidarity
The quiet streets of Hornsey, north London, were rocked by a loud and musical picket of cleaners on Tuesday of last week.
The 14 cleaners are employed by Lakethorne Cleaning Services on a contract to Highgate Wood School.
Their demands include the London Living Wage, sick pay, overtime pay, and holiday entitlements.
They belong to the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (Caiwu) and all hail from Latin America.
In a powerful display of solidarity the teachers at Highgate Wood joined the picket line and handed over a workplace collection of £450.
Workers prepare to strike at Coventry university
UCU union members at Coventry university were set to strike on Thursday of this week. The walkout is the first of five planned strikes over a new appraisal process.
Workers plan further strikes on 26 and 29 November, and on 3 and 4 December.
They plan to begin action short of a strike, including a boycott of the appraisal system and marking, from 5 December.
St George’s guards want pay equality
Security guards at St George’s university in Tooting, south London, have voted by 90 percent for strikes.
The UVW union members work for subcontractor Noonan at the University of London medical school.
They are demanding full equality of pay and terms and conditions with workers directly employed by the university staff.
The workers also want to be brought back in house.
UVW says that the university has confirmed that bringing outsourced workers in house would “after an initial capital investment, be cost-neutral or give rise to savings”. “With the financial excuse out of the way, what’s left?” the union said.
Series of strikes to school bosses
NEU union members at St Catherine’s Catholic School for Girls were set to strike on Thursday of this week.
Workers at the south east London school are challenging what they call bullying from the head teacher, Yvonne Connolly.
NEU district secretary for Bexley Debbie Jones said this includes banning union meetings and suspending the NEU rep. The walkout follows six days of strikes since 30 October.
Workers at Salford City College began a three-day strike on Tuesday over bosses’ refusal to implement a national pay and conditions agreement.
The NEU union says this will snatch around £600 a year from lower paid staff. The walkout follows a two-day strike last week and a 24-hour strike on 30 October.
Workers at Roe Green Infants & Strathcona school in Brent, west London, were set to strike on Wednesday of this week over compulsory redundancies.
NEU union members there have already struck four times over a plan to close the school.
Their action pushed Brent council to reconsider the plan—but it is now back on. Fortunately, workers had already vowed to continue with their strikes to keep up the pressure.
Workers at Moulsecoomb primary school in Brighton, Sussex, were set to walk out on Thursday of this week over a plan to forcibly turn the school into an academy.
The New Horizons Academy Trust plans to take over the school.