UCU Barnfield College in Luton will strike next Tuesday 2nd of October.

This is a really important dispute and your active support is very much needed.

You may remember that Barnfield College featured in a Times Higher article this spring following claims that the now CEO, Pete Birkett, plans to turn the college over to private equity firms to make a ‘for profit college.’

The College already sponsors a small fleet of academies and free schools. In June the Queen awarded Pete Birkett the Knights Bachelor for services to Further Education and the Academy movement.

UCU members are striking to resist an ‘unlimited’ hours contract under very difficult circumstances. It is essential we rally to defend members and defend education for the community not for profit and prevent this model of for-profit education going unchallenged.

Please rush messages of support, collections and offers of solidarity to:

Diane Parkins Vice-Chair UCU Barnfield

Email: Diane.parkins@tesco.net

Mobile: 07871176662

Address: UCU Barnfield Branch, c/o 19 Millards Close, Flitwick, Beds MK45 1AS

From the branch reps:

“The dispute at Barnfield College relates to a new clause which states that the College will issue the days and times of delivery and will set the number of hours as the business requires”. Members will no longer have any security of employment as the drive to increase profitibility under the banner of efficiency will lead to increased annual hours and fewer staff needed to deliver. The proposed increase to 806 hours over 31 weeks means a delivery of 26 hours per week but, for many, more hours per week is the reality. This will have serious repercussions on the quality of delivery and Ofsted are due to re-visit shortly. We fear redundancies are likely and students will suffer. VLs have already suffered a loss of hours as these are picked up by permanent staff – 21 hours to 26 hours per week a 25% increase in teaching hours, this does not cover interviews etc.”

Please take the time to send a message of support and discuss with colleagues what you can do to help.


Richard McEwan




Barnfield (federation).


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