Monthly Archives: June 2014

RITZY WORKERS SOLIDARITY MEETING

 

 

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RITZY WORKERS SOLIDARITY MEETING
Monday 30th June at 7.30pm, Effra Social, Brixton

Our ‘Brixton Union Town’ neighbours at the Ritzy cinema  have been running a fantastic campaign demanding a living wage for their staff.   They’ve now  taken 7 days of strike action and are calling for a complete boycott of the Picturehouse chain. Their union,  BECTU,  has called a national demonstration of all cinema workers for  17th July in solidarity. In a recent vindictive act, the management have offered a pay deal that is less than before the strike. We have been inspired by the powerful fight they have been leading and by the solidarity that they have shown us.

They have now called a meeting on Monday 30th June at 7.30 pm. It would be great if you could come along to build support for the Ritzy workers and show solidarity for their fight.  Help is urgently needed to take things forward and your support will bring success more quickly.

You can donate to their campaign here

 

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Support from Ken Loach

Support from Ken Loach

“Good luck to the Lambeth College teachers and those who support them. We desperately look for leadership to resist the cuts and privatisations imposed by the Government. The fabric of a decent and civilised society is being ripped apart and the mainstream politicians leave us undefended. You are showing the way. I hope you stay strong and get the support your actions deserve” – Ken Loach

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June 26, 2014 · 1:24 pm

Nationwide support – THANKS!!

The solidarity on show yesterday for the UCU national day of action for our strike was truly amazing. Members spoke at solidarity rallies at other colleges and messages of support flooded in throughout the day via Twitter, Facebook and email. Check out the UCU Wall of Support for more on this – the messages and pictures of support from around the country are overwhelming. Click the link below to see – and keep scrolling…

UCU Wall of Support for Lambeth College

 

One of the most positive things about this strike for Lambeth union members has been the opportunity to visit other workplaces and talk to people about our dispute. You can read about one person’s positive experience here: Branch visits: inspiring support. The map and pictures below show just some of the places we have visited; you can move the map around and zoom in to see the different places we’ve been to. We’ve had invites to speak all across the country and have received incredibly generous donations too.

We have been utterly overwhelmed by the support shown to us throughout this dispute and the solidarity on display today has been inspirational. The message “Your fight is our fight” shows us that we’re not alone and it strengthens our resolve.

 

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Lambeth Strike National Day of Action: ways you can help


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UCU has called a national day of action in support of the Lambeth College strike tomorrow (25th June). Here are some things you can do to help and show your solidarity.

1. Organise a lunchtime meeting or rally in support of the Lambeth College strikers.  We have already heard of many colleges organising rallies but would love to hear of more! Tweet pictures to @Lambethstrike with the hashtag #WesupportLambethUCU

2, Add to the UCU Wall of Support. Print out the poster of support in the link above, take a picture of yourself holding it and post it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #IsupportLambethUCU. If you don’t have access to a printer, a handwritten sign of support will work well too!

3. Change your profile picture on Facebook and Twitter to the picture at the top of this post. This will help raise awareness of our cause.

4. If you haven’t signed the online petition in support of the strike, you can do this here. We’ve already got nearly 1,700 names on there, plus thousands more from our picket lines!

5. Donate to the branch’s strike fund. We have been inundated with donations so far and your support helps the strike stay strong .

We have been completely overwhelmed by the support we have had so far, from students, people in the community, other union branches and the wider public. With your help we can win!

 

 

 

 

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Doing the Lambeth Walk (Out!)

Learn the words and join in!

 

Anytime you’re Lambeth way
Any evening, any day,
You’ll find us all doin’ the Lambeth walk.(out!)
Ev’ry little Lambeth gal
With her little Lambeth pal,
You’ll find ’em all doin’ the Lambeth walk.(out!)
Teaching is never easy
Sometimes it makes you queasy
They want to change our contracts
No thanks! Fight back
Once you get down Lambeth way,
Ev’ry evening, ev’ry day,
You’ll find yourself doin’ the Lambeth walk.(out!)

 

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Day 13 update

Our sandwiches are bigger than yours - we want negotiations, not bread and cheese!

Our sandwiches are bigger than yours – we want negotiations, not bread and cheese!

This strike is massive – 13 days in and numbers on the picket lines are as solid as ever, no one has gone back to work. The college’s Unison branch is coming out next week for three days from Tuesday as part of their programme of escalating action. There will be a joint union rally outside the Clapham campus on Tuesday at 11am.

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United and determined

Our meetings have shown that members are united behind our position of wanting the attacks on our terms and conditions in the new contracts withdrawn. We will not back down, we will not go away. This has to be sorted out through negotiation.

To reiterate, we want to sit down and negotiate to get this resolved. We believe that we can show the college that the draconian changes in the new contract are simply not necessary to protect the college.

Sadly the principal is still refusing to take the contracts off the table despite our offer, if he were to do so,  to stand down the strike and set up a framework of meaningful talks aimed at addressing the issues underlying the new contracts such as flexibility and sickness.

It is disappointing that after hearing about the principal’s 13% pay rise last year, the college still wants to cut people’s sick pay and holiday entitlement and increase their working hours and duties.

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Today we saw a Jewellery making workshop for learners on the picket line and we heard various students talking both about their frustration at the situation and their support for the staff and what this action is trying to achieve.

Our student petition is another display of learners’ support for the strike. At a lively lobby of the college governors, we presented the petition inside our giant ‘no free lunch’ sandwich  (pictured above). In case you missed the story, college management has been trying to lure lecturers back to work with the promise of a free sandwich (!?!). Frankly we’d prefer that they came to talk to us instead.

Upcoming Events

Saturday 21st June

People’s Assembly National Demonstration against austerity.  Thousands will take to the streets to march against government cuts. Lambeth college will have a delegation and a speaker on the platform . We’ll visit the Ritzy Strike picket in Windrush Square at 11am and travel together to the march with the Fire Brigades Union.

 

Tuesday 24th June

Unison and UCU joint rally outside Clapham campus – 11 am.

Wednesday 25th June

UCU Head Office are holding a National Day of Action for Lambeth College.

 

Friday 27th June

Fundraiser event at the Bedford in Balham. Sure to be as good as our June 6th event. Come along, have a great time and support the cause!

Gimme SE poster Bedford v4

5th July

Special conference – What is Further and Adult Education for? Lambeth College UCU and UNSION  invite you to attend a conference  to discuss how we can ensure that we protect and expand Further and Adult Education. More details here: Special conference – 5/7/14 What is Further and Adult Education for?

Date to be announced

Comedian Mark Thomas will be holding an event at our picket line in Clapham

How to help

Remember you can support the strike by:

  • Making a donation to our hardship fund: – we’ve raised over £17,000 so far and the donations keep rolling in – every little helps
  • Signing our petition here – like the hardship fund, it’s growing everyday
  • Coming down to the picket lines outside the Clapham, Brixton and Vauxhall campuses and saying Hello or stopping for a chat
  • Writing to the principal at msilverman@lambeth.ac.uk
  • Following us on Facebook and Twitter
  • Subscribing to this blog
  • Invite a speaker to your workplace – add a comment on this post and someone will get back to you to arrange.

Upcoming

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Week 3 update

Lambeth strike

The strike continues, more members have joined us in the last week, our strike fund is at over £17,000 and today we heard the great news that Unison are striking for three days next week. Support in the community and among students is still high; our resolve remains strong.

Union negotiators met with management yesterday and unfortunately management are still refusing to withdraw the new contracts. They have not provided us with any evidence  of how much money these attacks on our terms and conditions  will save. We are prepared to negotiate on underlying issues such as flexibility and sickness to find a solution and have reiterated this to management. Unions are committed to the future of the college  and keen to share our ideas about how we can ensure this under our current terms and conditions.

We were also extremely disappointed to find out that our college principal was awarded a 13% per cent pay rise – the biggest rise in London – while staff at the college have had a pay freeze for 4 years. Alongside this, the current attack on our terms on conditions make staff question whether they are valued.

We continue to receive inspiring support from union branches across the country and on Tuesday Lambeth strikers spoke at a lively meeting in Deptford about cuts to provision at Lewisham and Southwark College. Members have also been speaking at UCU, NUT, Unison and other union branch meetings in London and more widely. Today we had a fantastic rally outside UCU Headquarters to lobby the AoC’s pay negotiations where there we speakers from colleges in Bradford and Hull, as well as Tower Hamlets and City and Islington college.

Our fight continues. Join our picket lines outside the Vauxhall, Brixton or Clapham campuses and stay up to date with the latest news and events by subscribing to this website. Follow @LambethStrike on Twitter and Like our Facebook page Solidarity with Lambeth College.  You can also sign our petition at: https://www.ucu.org.uk/defendlambethucu.

 

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