Lambeth College UCU members took strike action today, as part of a 2 week period of escalating strike action. The strike continues tomorrow, followed by 3 days next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (13, 14 and 15th January). After that, if there is no resolution, our members will walk out indefinitely from Monday 19th January.
Today’s strike was very well-supported and the visit from UCU President, Dr. Liz Lawrence, reminded us of why we are doing the right thing in making our stand.
We are still seeking an end to the 2-tier workforce caused by the introduction of a new contract with significantly inferior conditions, and the inequality and divisions this will create. However, we have agreed to negotiate around around a guarantee of protection from the new contract for existing staff, alongside some significant improvements in key areas such as sick pay entitlement and annual leave, for new starters. But management are refusing to talk to us.
Since our Ofsted inspection a few weeks ago, nothing has been indicated to staff about the overall grade at all, and a significant number of the senior management team have announced they are leaving the college. These departures, combined with the deafening silence about the overall Ofsted grade, and the escalation of industrial action, indicate the level of instability which now surrounds the principal. We hope that this will result in the college engaging in meaningful talks with the unions, aimed at ending this dispute.
We are calling a rally on Monday 19th January – 12 noon at the Clapham Centre to launch the indefinite strike action, with support from the Head Office. Sally Hunt has been invited to speak.
UCU Head Office are also calling a National Demonstration at the end of January in support of our dispute. Details coming very soon.
We are running teach-ins for students and have 2 fundraisers organised on Friday 30th January at the Bedford Arms in Balham and Friday 13th February at the Bread and Roses in Clapham. Poster with list of acts and times will be circulated this week.
The national support the branch has received has been absolutely tremendous and we thank everyone for the messages of support and steady stream of generous donations to our strike fund. Please keep the support coming in, and keep updated at: