Mark Winter reports:
At a packed branch meeting on Wednesday, members of UCU and Unison voted to ballot for indefinite strike action over proposed new contracts.
Well over a hundred staff voted to strike in response to management’s announcement that they intend to introduce the new contracts on 1st April. Staff expressed their anger at a raft of changes which include increased working hours, an extended working week, additional duties for no remuneration, reduced notice of redundancy and drastically reduced sick pay.
At the meeting, members reported that working conditions have already changed for the worse with staff struggling with massive workloads. The provision of courses to the local community has been reduced, because college management have a very different focus in their business plan. The Brixton site is slated to be sold off to become a free school, while at the same time they’ve poured money into the flagship Clapham site, seen by staff as a vanity project.
Staff are determined to fight to maintain their conditions, but at the same time defend existing community provision.
UCU Head Office have declared the dispute to be of national significance and will be meeting local reps next week to discuss the campaign strategy and how best to support the branch.
Send messages of support to Branch Secretary, Mandy Brown, at firstname.lastname@example.org