Socialist Worker

Sixth form college workers get set for more strikes over funding and pay

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2690

NEU union members during a sixth form college strike last year

NEU union members during a sixth form college strike last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at 34 sixth form colleges were set to strike on Wednesday of next week.

The action is the fourth walkout for NEU union members in their battle to win more funding.

Jean Evanson is the post-16 national executive committee member for the union.

She told Socialist Worker, “People remain angry with the funding situation and the complete reluctance of the government to put money into post-16 education.

“Things aren’t getting any better in sixth form colleges. The issues driving people to take action are workload, lack of support for students and growing class sizes.”

The threat of strikes previously pushed the government to pledge an extra £400 million for sixth form colleges.

But as Jean said, “That’s not enough. We need £1.1 billion to make up for what we have lost.”

The union plans further strikes on 27 February and 10 March, the day before the budget.

Strikers will rally in Westminster Square and hold a lobby of parliament on 27 February.

Indicative ballots are taking place across all sixth form colleges, as original strike ballots will soon expire.

The NEU said formal ballots will follow after half term.

It said the ballots “will allow action in the summer term and also in late September and early October”.

Jean said, “The new ballots mean that future strikes could be even bigger.

“It’s important to get strong results in the indicative ballots.

“And we need support from other trade unionists for our strikes.”

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