A lecturer from Harlow College spoke to the UCU Left conference about the campaign at the college against the imposition of new working conditions and contracts.
He told the meeting, “A year ago I was working in a happy and successful college – now it’s all out war. The new principal has empowered management – with the number of people in management positions and the wages for these positions on the up.
“There is a new appraisals system which focuses on lecturers’ commitment to the principal’s vision – not on education.
“Bullying and suspensions have increased. We have taken five days of solid strike action, with support from the local community and students, and over 3,000 people signing our petition.
“We made some mistakes. At the beginning of the dispute we lost the argument that lecturers at the college should not apply for the new posts. And last week 34 redundancies were announced – all people are involved in the union.
“As lecturers met with management, students marched through the campus, shouting ‘save our teachers’.
“Lecturers who were not involved in the union in the beginning are now talking about getting involved – management will not get everything their own way.
“They are now advertising 80 vacant posts. We would ask people not to apply for them.”
This is an extreme version of attacks that are taking place FE colleges around the country. Colleges should not be left to fight alone.
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