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Workers at Nottingham College deliver no confidence vote in boss

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Issue 2676
Strikers at Nottingham College during strikes earlier this month
Strikers at Nottingham College during strikes earlier this month (Pic: Jeannie Robinson)

UCU union members at Nottingham College plan to hold 14 more days of strike next month in a battle over new contracts.

Union members have struck for 15 days this term against the contracts, which would slash pay and impose worse conditions. They ended a five-day strike last Friday.

Last week workers unanimously backed a motion of no confidence in college boss John van de Laarschot and chair of governors Carole Thorogood.

The motion said their “continued mismanagement” had caused “extreme harm and distress to staff and students”.

Union members say the college backtracked on a commitment to limit teaching hours to 24 a week while a new contract is negotiated.

Workers are set to strike on 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 22, 25, 26, 28 and 29 November.

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Activists build yes vote in fight over pay and pensions

UCU union ballots for strikes over pay, pensions and conditions are continuing. They involve around 125,000 workers in universities across Britain.

At 147 universities, workers are balloting for action over pay, workloads, casualisation and equality. At 69 of them, over 52,000 staff are also balloting for strikes to defend their USS pension scheme.

Activists are fighting to get the biggest yes votes on the biggest possible turnouts in the ballots, which end on 30 October. The union’s higher education committee will meet to consider the results on 1 November.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner last week said she backed workers—but called for “both sides” to hold more talks to avoid strikes.

She she called on them to “negotiate for as long as it takes to agree a way forward”.

Calling a series of hard-hitting strikes is the best way to force bosses to retreat from their attacks, and to defend education.

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