Socialist Worker

Important victory at at Islington Sixth Form College can inspire more fights

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2759

Picketing at Islington Sixth Form College was important

Picketing at Islington Sixth Form College was important (Pic: Ken Muller)


Workers at Islington Sixth Form College in north London have won an important victory after six days of strikes.

NEU union members were facing plans to work an additional 13 evenings ­interviewing potential students.

The strikes have seen the additional hours reduced from 30 to six.

Teachers also raised ­concerns that management opposed NEU policy and observed lessons during the pandemic.

Management also started grading the lessons, which even school inspectorate, Ofsted didn’t do.

The workers’ fight has ­successfully removed the ­grading of lesson observations.

Progress

Secretary of Islington NEU Tony Buttifint said, “Good progress has also been made on negotiations surrounding the pay award for 2020 and 2021, potential redundancies due to restructuring, summer 2021 enrolment and a new observation policy.

“The college has been given a clear demonstration that members are prepared to act to achieve their demands.”

Picket lines were well attended, workers took the knee on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and students, parents and local residents offered solidarity.

Capital City College Group (CCCG) which operates Islington Sixth Form College is spending at least half a million pounds revamping its empty Regent’s Park campus in central London.

This is in preparation for a ­company named 01 Founders to implement a “sink or swim” admissions model. Extraordinarily it will have “teacherless” training courses.

CCCG is pushing through 30 redundancies at this new venture. This has triggered the UCU union to launch a strike ballot.


Other battles

Pimlico Academy—teachers in London struck on Tuesday of last week over ­management failures.

The picket line was ­supported by 50 parents and teachers in the NEU union.

Further strikes were planned for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Student protests, teacher opposition and parents organising, saw the head teacher resign last month.

Messages of solidarity to [email protected]

 

Redbridge—Workers at Oaks Park High School in Redbridge, east London, were set to strike on Tuesday this week.

They are supporting four victimised colleagues who used Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act to refuse to work in an unsafe environment in January.

Messages of solidarity to [email protected] and [email protected]

 

Shrewsbury—Workers at Shrewsbury College are ­continuing the fight against the victimisation of NEU rep John Boken.

Further strikes were planned on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Messages of support to [email protected]

 


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