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Workplace news in brief
Lecturers at Chesterfield College have taken two more days of strike action against 70 compulsory redundancies. About 50 pickets gathered each morning at the different college gates, before joining a rally outside the main entrance.
UCU members were joined by NASUWT colleagues, who also voted to strike. Non-academic staff in Unison have not been balloted, although several joined the pickets.
The announcement that the well-used college nursery is to close, with the loss of ten jobs, shows Unison should be joining this fight to save jobs. The nursery closure also shows that students will suffer if these job losses go through. Many, especially young women, will be unable to continue their courses.
The quality and range of education on offer to young people not going to university will be hit. Lecturers are angry after the college was forced to admit that it was planning to launch an academy for 14-19 year olds.
Why are senior management making their staff redundant if this is the case? It can only be that they plan to hire staff on worse pay and conditions for their new venture.
Chesterfield staff were cheered by news that Kirklees lecturers were striking the same day and that Liverpool University have also voted to strike.
Although the academic year is ending, plans should now be drawn up for a national strike at the start of the next term if redundancies at these colleges and universities are not withdrawn.
On 20 June, almost 50 pickets mounted a noisy and very lively protest outside Kirklees College in Huddersfield. Their one-day strike was against the threat of compulsory redundancies and pay cuts of £12,000 a year for some.
The initial target of 50 redundancies has been whittled down to around 12, but the threat of downgrading and job cuts is still live.
The college claim they need staff to make these sacrifices because the college is in debt. One picket told us: "If they get away with this, the management will do even more.
They have already decimated support staff and they want to now take on the lecturers. We haven't had a local dispute for years and they have been shocked by the strength of feeling among us all. We hope today's action will force them back to the negotiating table."
Pickets are looking to coordinate action with their Unison colleagues and possibly the other teaching unions, who have their own days of action looming, to ensure they have maximum impact.
Messages of support to David Paine, branch secretary UCU: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The highly successful strike by Unite members in One Housing in London has forced the management to negotiate.
Unite membership has grown from 30 to 180 and is still growing in this fight against pay cuts of up to £8,000 a year in some cases.
In The Socialist 26 June 2013:
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