Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ready for January


Rally outside the Clapham Centre

This 2nd round of strike action over new contracts has been fantastically solid thanks to all members participating in the strike and the solidarity from supporters round the country. And the term was rounded off with style and spirit at yesterday’s successful and well-attended lunchtime rally outside the Clapham Centre – Jeremy Hardy spoke about how important our strike was; student support continues to grow and a student from the Clapham Centre spoke in support of teachers and the strike.


Comedian and local resident Jeremy Hardy

UCU National Office has increased the daily strike pay amount from £50 to £75 and we continue to receive more donations every day. Yesterday we had £1400 worth of cheques delivered to the rally at Clapham, and speakers who went to City and Islington College received collections of £550. On Tuesday speakers raised over £100 from local Unison workplaces and last week we received more than £600 in collections from the FEC special conference, donations brought to the Brixton picket line and cheques sent from workplaces round the country.

The branch remains united and focussed on what we are aiming to achieve.  We have signalled that we are open to talks and it is very disappointing that management are still refusing to speak to the unions to try to end the dispute.‎

We are shocked that the principal is maintaining his ‘no capitulation’ stance. It’s not helpful for anyone, especially students who are affected by the disruption to classes. It is ultimately his responsibility as principal to find a way forward by sitting down with the unions. The college governors should be asking why he is not willing to do this.

We will continue to receive student support next year and have a meeting planned with UCU HQ in the first week back to discuss further support such as national demo, press campaign, etc. On top of the increase to £75 a day strike pay and the constant flow of donations to our hardship fund, we are more than ready to keep up the pressure in January should we need to.

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Best wishes
Lambeth College UCU


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Rally 17th December, Clapham


Rally this Wednesday 17th December

Today saw the start of 3 more days of strike action in Lambeth College UCU’s campaign against new contracts with worse conditions. Today striking workers from the Defence Support Group spoke at our rally; find out more about their campaign by following @DSGstrike on Twitter.The branch has called a mass lunchtime rally‎ at 12pm, jointly with Unison, this Wednesday 17th December, outside the Clapham Centre, to mark the end of this term’s industrial action and to mobilise for next term. Comedian Jeremy Hardy has confirmed attendance.

Please send delegations and banners, and circulate far and wide‎.

Thank you for all the continued support, solidarity and donations.

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Staff and students on the picket line – Lambeth College strike update

Picket line at Brixton today

Staff and students on the picket line at Brixton today

Today saw the 2nd strike day in the second round of our campaign against the new contracts. And yet again the support has been tremendous. Around forty students joined the picket lines at Brixton as part of today’s student strike against ESOL learning conditions. We also had an early morning visit by the President of the TUC, Leslie Manasseh. He expressed his support for our cause and has pledged to contact the principal urging him to talk to the unions to put an end to the dispute.
Again the strikes were fantastically solid across the college. More strikers are beginning to join us and new members are joining UCU. This building of momentum shows that the branch is angry about the new contracts but also angry that the principal will still not negotiate with the unions.

Student strike

Staff have been brought in to cover classes, but 1 of the temporary staff walked out yesterday when they realised they were being asked to break the strike. They refused to cross our picket line, contacted the TUC and got a message of support through to the branch.
Tomorrow we will have picket lines as usual at all 3 centres from 7.30am onwards, followed by a rally outside the Clapham Centre at 11.30am.
Please join us to hear about the week’s events and catch up on the latest strike news.
See you all tomorrow
Best wishes
Lambeth College UCU

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Resolve continues – strike report

Yesterda‎y’s strike was an outstanding success, and we congratulate everyone who took part. It was a brilliant day and showed that the resolve and the unity of the branch remains as strong as ever.

Picket lines were vibrant and busy and the strike was solid at all 3 centres – many classes were closed due to lack of staff to teach them‎. At Brixton there was an impressive delegation of ESOL students who ‎came along to the picket line to show support for teachers on strike. They joined staff on a march to Clapham for the rally at 12pm.

The rally speeches were excellent and Unison members came out with their banner to show their solidarity. John McDonnell told us how proud he was of us for resisting these ongoing attacks. An ESOL student talked about the conditions of classes and facilities at Brixton and asked for our support for the student strike which is taking place next week on Tuesday 9 December. We also heard supportive and moving speeches from Lambeth NUT and Unison, a St Mungos charity worker, Jonathan Bartley from the Green Party, and representatives from the RMT and Aslef unions. Every speaker praised UCU members for their bravery in standing up to the onslaught of attacks on our conditions. Videos of speeches can be found here.

The big news of the day was the announcement that Ofsted will visit the college from Monday. UCU has urged the principal to engage in talks with the unions as soon as possible. It is very disappointing that management still refuse to negotiate but we remain open to talks, as ever, and hope they will see reason and come to the table very soon to put an end to this dispute.

Next week will see our 2nd strike day on Tuesday 9 Dec, and this time we’ll be taking action alongside students who are also striking that day against their learning conditions. We encourage everyone to join us on Tuesday for this united front of staff and students taking action together.

We have once again been overwhelmed with messages of support. ‎We thank everyone who has shown us support and sent in donations as we re-launch our campaign against the attacks on our conditions.

In solidarity
Lambeth College UCU

Messages of support

Dear Mandy,

Congratulations to you and your members. Your branch’s action is a fantastic achievement and provides all our members with the perfect illustration of what is needed if the campaign to protect FE and safeguard both our futures and our students’ futures is going to succeed.

We have a branch meeting next week and we will be asking members to make another contribution to your valiant cause

On behalf of all UCU members at EHWLC greetings of solidarity,

Tim Dalrymple

Dear Mandy

Hackney Community College UCU Branch wholeheartedly supports the Lambeth Strike.

We congratulate you on your successful day of action yesterday and wish you all the best for your future action.

We’ll be collecting next week to support your strike.

All the best,

Rose, on behalf of Hackney Community College UCU Branch

Hi Mandy and fellow comrades

Peter Street Branch of UCU salute you all ! We support you in your struggle !!

In solidarity

Fiona, Cathy and Carolyn

UCU Reps and H and S rep UCU WKC Peter Street ( Soho )

(Message from staff member on new contract):

Hi Mandy,

I wanted to express my thanks for what you and your colleagues did today. I had planned to come out and join you at lunchtime but a colleague with way more experience than me warned me against it and said that management would take a dim view. I can’t afford to risk it unfortunately.

Anyway, I made sure all my students were well aware of why everyone was striking and told them to be supportive and understanding as it was for their benefit in the long run, and that one day one of them might be put in a similar situation.

I hope management see sense soon.

Kind regards

To all our UCU colleagues at Lambeth College:

CONEL members applaud your brave and resolute determination to continue your struggle against horrendous new contracts and send you solidarity greetings on your first day of renewed strike action. You are fighting for us all.

At our branch meeting yesterday, we voted unanimously to take another collection to support your action and will send you the proceeds soon.

Original Message
From: bos1984‎
Sent: Thursday, 4 December 2014‎
Subject: Solidarity from West Midlands
Hi Mandy

Hope you had a brill day. …greetings and solidarity from the West Midlands,
Solihull College and the regional executive.


Original Message
From: Mendel Ron‎
Sent: Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dear Mandy,

The Lambeth College Branch is an inspiration to all UCU members regardless if they work in FE or HE. May the resolve of the branch prove successful in beating back the attack on members’ terms and conditions.

On behalf of the UCU Branch Executive.


From: Jenny Sutton‎
Sent: Thursday, 4 December 2014‎
Subject: Motions passed at CONEL UCU
‎The following 2 motions were carried unanimously at a UCU Branch Meeting at CONEL (Tottenham) yesterday:


Branch notes:
1 The recent vote by a large majority on a good turnout of UCU members at Lambeth College to continue their brave campaign of industrial action against the imposition of new contracts with seriously worsened terms and conditions.
2 The recent two days of strike action taken by UCU members at Barnsley College against similar new contracts.
Branch believes:
1 That the actions taken at Lambeth and Barnsley are fully justified and deserve all our support and solidarity.
2 That our colleagues at Lambeth and Barnsley are fighting on behalf of FE staff everywhere as management victories at their colleges will encourage employers throughout the sector to go on a similar offensive.
Branch resolves:
1 To reassert our support and solidarity for our colleagues at Lambeth and to offer the same to those at Barnsley.
2 To send messages to UCU branches at the two colleges expressing this support and solidarity.
3 To take a collection at this meeting and afterwards to be shared equally between UCU branches at the two colleges.
4 To send a delegation from this branch with the branch banner to any future picket lines at Lambeth and, if practicable, at Barnsley.

Original Message
From: Lawrence‎
Sent: Thursday, 4 December 2014‎
Subject: Good organising for Round two


Send my best to all your colleagues.

Lawrence Wong


Sorry but not surprised that you have had to resort to another strike to protect your members terms and conditions.
Our members in BT Openreach are facing attacks on terms and conditions for new entrants.
At our Branch Steering Committee today it was agreed to send another £500 to help UCU members at Lambeth in their fight.

Yours in solidarity

John Gray
Central Counties & Thames Valley Branch
Retired Members Representative.

Dear Mandy,
On behalf of Chesterfield College UCU I would like to send you our continued support for your strike tomorrow, and the escalation of action beyond that date. Your ballot result demonstrates the excellent resolve of your members and is an inspiration to all of us in FE who are fighting against the worsening of terms and conditions.
We wish you well for your rally and we’ll be following your actions closely.
In solidarity,

Allister Mactaggart
Branch Chair, Chesterfield College UCU

Dear Mandy

Dudley National Union Teachers sends its heartfelt solidarity as you resume your fight at Lambeth College. Please keep as up to date as you are able with developments and if members are visiting the West Midlands in delegations to raise support, please let us know.

In solidarity
Martin Lynch
Joint Secretary
Dudley NUT

Dear Mandy,

I only learned last evening (Tuesday) that strike action is set to go ahead this Thursday in your long-running battle with Lambeth College management over the introduction of drastically worse employment contracts.

It’s very encouraging to see that you and the UCU branch’s leadership have been able to sustain a fighting spirit over the course of the past several months since the indefinite action in the summer term. Both the turnout in the recent ballot and the overwhelming ‘yes’ to action after enforced delays indicate an inspiring level of determination among UCU members at Lambeth.

Unfortunately, due to relatively short notice and other commitments on Thursday afternoon, I think it unlikely that I’ll be able to attend the rally planned for the Clapham site between 12 noon and 2.00 PM, but on behalf of Camden UNISON I send our best wishes for a strongly support, very effective strike on Thursday 04 December. Needless to say, please try to keep us informed of developments and I’m sure that the branch will be more than willing to offer further financial support should the dispute continue into the new year.

In solidarity,


George Binette
Camden UNISON Branch Secretary

Hi Mandy
Sending solidarity greetings for the strike on Thursday.
Best wishes
Sue Abbott
Northumbria Univrsity Equality officer

Hi Mandy
Please pass on a message of Solidarity for your strike action on Thursday from Cambridge Regional College Branch and also Eastern & Home Counties Regional Committee of which I am secretary of both.

Also att. is something I have been doing with a local arts group I am apart of as a bit of protest fun which is making use of all the now unused tax disc holders on peoples cars to make a statement. There is one att. specially for your members and another just to give you an idea of how else we have been using them.
I’m sure it would be good if every car in your car park has a Support Lambeth UCU Tax disc 🙂

All the Best
In Solidarity
Pete Monaghan

Hi Mandy,

We wish all the best to our comrades at Lambeth in their continuing struggle.

You have set a magnificent example in standing up to bullying management.

In solidarity,

Helen MacCarthy
UCU Branch Secretary
University of Hull

Dear Mandy,

I can’t be with you on the picket line this Thursday but I wish the branch every success in its campaign. Your victory will be a victory for all UCU members, and will inspire trade unionists everywhere in their fight against worsening conditions.

in solidarity

Ken Jones

Ken Jones
Professor of Education, UCU member
Educational Studies
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
SE14 6NW

Original Message
From: Gemma Short ‎
Sent: Friday, 28 November 2014 ‎
Subject: Message of solidarity and request for information‎

I wanted to convey my solidarity to you and your members at Lambeth college. As a recently ex-teacher and NUT member I fully support your fight to better conditions to enable you to give a better education to the young people you teach.

In solidarity,

Original Message
From: Anthony Hodges ‎
Sent: Thursday, 27 November 2014‎
To: mandy brown‎
Subject: Dec. 4th

Dear Mandy – best of luck with your renewed strike action. I’m having the double-glaziers in on Thursday so will not be there but I’ll be there in spirit!


Original Message
From: Williams, Geoff‎
Sent: Thursday, 27 November 2014

Dear Mandy and comrades at Lambeth College

Please pass on my solidarity and support for your excellent campaign which I see is already showing results. As well as what it means to your members it is also sending an important message nationally to all members and particularly our leaders, that determined industrial action gets results.

Very best wishes and solidarity

Dr Geoff Williams
UCLUCU Exec committee and ex Co-President

Chandler House

From: Jean Crocker‎
Sent: Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Subject: All support to Lambeth‎

All support to Lambeth

Jean Crocker

Original Message
From: tudor.morgan ‎
Sent: Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Good luck to you all. An example for everyone.

From: James Ackroyd
Sent: Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Cc: Angie Birtill; Ewa Suchorska; John O’Brien; Carol Kinahan; Kate Turney; Angela Roberts
Subject: Lambeth Ballot

A great result in your ballot and a real indication of the strength of feeling in you branch against the new contracts that your management are trying to force on you regardless of the effect they have on staff moral and how unfair and divisive they are.

Keep up the good work and South Thames College UCU Branch are behind you.


James Ackroyd
Branch Chair

Just heard the news that Lambeth College workers have voted for more action. Solidarity with your continued struggle for our education system and against Silverman and the privateers.


Mark Dunk,
Unite member and Unite the Resistance steering group.

Dear Mandy,

On behalf of the UCU Branch at the University of Winchester I want to convey our congratulations for your successful ballot and wish you all the best for your struggle to preserve decent working conditions at Lambeth College.

All the best,

Mick Jardine
Branch Chair
University of Winchester

In solidarity Mandy with your 83% Yes for strike action, on a 58% turnout


Steve Mardy, Senior Lecturer, Room 312, Northern Film School
Faculty of Arts, Environment & Technology
Leeds Beckett University
Electric Press Bld
1 Millennium Square
Leeds LS2 3AD

Description: nosocial
Description: nosocial
Description: nosocial

From: Angie Birtill
Sent: Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Subject: STC

Well done Lambeth on your great results.

In solidarity

Angie Birtill
Trade Union Studies Centre

From: Mendel Ron


The ballot result is a credit to the branch’s hard work and signifies the determination and anger among members against management’s actions.

Good luck in your campaign.


Hi Mandy,

This is Tony Brown from UCL UCU writing in a personal capacity to express my solidarity and to say: well done! (Especially given the long break over the summer and the threats to withdraw courses from the management side.)

Hope to get a message from our branch soon.

Best regards,

Dear Mandy
I support your fight against attack on conditions of service
Keep you fight
With best wishes
Mehdi Husaini
Teesside University UCU

Hi Mandy, and all UCU members at Lambeth College.

I just want to offer you congratulations on your determination to.stand up to bullying management yet again. You have my full support. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

Yours in solidarity

Saira Weiner
National.Women’s Rep, NEC

Dear Mandy,
Congratulations to everyone at Lambeth for the excellent result and your determination to fight for your rights. As has been said before and will be said many times, your fight is our fight, and that includes those of us in HE, not just in FE.

From: elane heffernan
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2014

Well done.. brilliant result in the face of being forced to ballot to death!

Hey Mandy

Great news about your strike ballot result!!

Solidarity from Creative Arts at Tower Hamlets College

Your Fight is Our Fight!! ❤️👍

Hi Mandy

just to say good luck to you and your colleagues at Lambeth

Best Wishes
Nicky C
CALAT Branch

Hello Mandy –

I have just heard that UCU members at Lambeth College have voted to take further strike action against your bullying bosses. Well done.
Solidarity from USDAW C133 branch.
Your fight is our fight.

Best Wishes

Sasha Simic
USDAW C133 Central Books branch

Dear Mandy

congratulations to you all what a result please let us know what we can do to show our solidarity.

Best yours in struggle –
Tony Sullivan university of the arts London UCU Co-ordinating ctte chair

From: Veronika Johnson
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2014
Cc: UCU Camden Branch Committee
Subject: Ballot result For Strike Action

Well done Mandy and Lambeth UCU!

City and Islington Branch Committee

From: Bruce McClure
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2014
Subject: Sending my support

Hi Mandy

As a former Lambeth tutor I’m wishing Lambeth colleagues all the best for the forthcoming strike and the campaign to maintain working conditions.

In solidarity.

Dear Mandy,

I am Treasurer and Social Sciences & Law Rep for UCU at Oxford Brookes.

I met some of your colleagues back in the summer when you came to our Branch Meeting. I wish to express our continued support for the struggle you are having at Lambeth College.

Are you still in need of donations to your strike fund and if so could you confirm who we might send a cheque to from our branch?

In solidarity,


Dr. Stephen Hurt
Senior Lecturer in International Relations
IR, Politics & Sociology Programme
Department of Social Sciences
Oxford Brookes University

Hi Mandy and all colleagues at Lambeth College,

On behalf of all of the A4e Prison Branch staff, I would like to send you our warmest and most loyal support for your actions against your employer. We know only too well the struggle that you are involved in and wish you luck in your fight/campaign.

Yours in UCU
For and on behalf of A4e Prison Branch

Steve Boyce

From: Richard McEwan
Sent: Monday, 3 November 2014

We will raise a collection! Good luck. Thc.

Hi Mandy,
That is a good result. Well down to everyone working so hard in your branch. I am sure that your determination will win through.


HI Mandy

Well done to all of you at Lambeth. We are having a committee meeting tomorrow to relaunch the collections and a branch meeting the following week. Will let you know details to get speaker down for it. Please pass on our solidarity

Margot Hill
Branch sec
Croydon college

Brilliant result Mandy. Let’s hope this sends a strong message to the bosses that they don’t always get their own way! I have asked out branch Secretary, Joe Clancy, to send you a solidarity message on behalf of our Branch. (I myself am still on the Committee but no longer Branch Secretary).
Phil (City of Westminster Col UCU).

Hi Mandy,

We are with you and your member and support fully your determination to resist attacks on your working conditions and hope those who did not get to vote for one reason or other and those few who voted against will also join in with the overwhelming majority decision to take action.

History has shown that those who remove themselves from the majority position, are the ones, quite often, that management targets first.

Thank you for your support with our campaign to get Michael re-instatement, the fight continues.


Hi Mandy,

Wishing Lambeth UCU solidarity from all of us here at Hackney Adult Education.

All the best

Naina Kent
Adult Education
Hackney Learning Trust UCU

Well done Lambeth UCU. Please let us know at THC how we can continue to support your fight.

Barbara THC.

Hi Mandy,

This is a great result. Let me know how London Met UCU can support your strike days. Will it be all out indefinite or just certain days.
Much support to you all.


Outstanding result. Well done to Lambeth UCU. Rich THC

This is excellent news, Mandy. Congratulations and solidarity to all of you from all of us.

On behalf of CONEL Tottenham Branch

Hi Mandy,
Sending solidarity and support from Bromley College.
Vibeke J

Hi Mandy,
Please pass on our solidarity for your action this week and the campaign you have outlined over the next few weeks and into the new year.
Members were lifted to hear you message of support at our strike rally over a week ago and your invite to speak at your branch branch will be taken up at some point in the near future as we are taking 3 days of action in January.
I note also that CONEL has passed a motion supporting both our disputes and you are right that we should try to link up wherever possible.
The determination of your members continues to be an inspiration to our members and, I imagine, UCU members across the country.
All power to you in your fight back!
Our fight is your fight!!!
In solidarity,
Lee Short
Barnsley College UCU
Well done for standing up for the rights and working conditions of what must be the most scrutinised and publically accountable profession (and yet still we are treated as dogsbodies). I was driven out of the profession by predatory managers at my last sixth form post. No longer a teacher but always one at heart. I wish I could be at the picket but you have my profound admiration in the face of your principal and Ofsted.

Lorraine Devereux (ex-NUT rep)

Hi Mandy & David


This is a message of support from The Henley College. We’re thinking of you and hoping you resolve your contractual dispute satisfactorily. A really gutsy move and such opportune timing, given that this coincides with an Ofstedvisit.


Good luck


Hi to all at Lambeth College

Solidarity to you with great admiration for your principled fight. Keep it up we’re all behind you.

Graham Korn, NUT Rep.

I am writing as EIS-FELA secretary on behalf of the Edinburgh College branch to wish you a successful strike this week. Our experience in an all out strike earlier this year is that solidarity and determination can win against a management bent on altering terms and conditions for the worse. Your fight is part of an on-going defence of the education service we provide, and it goes on north and south of the Border. Ayrshire College is currently involved in strike action to defend contracts and is currently balloting to escalate this. You are not alone.

Good luck!

Penny Gower
Branch Secretary

Hello Mandy


The very best of luck with your efforts to stop the erosion of lecturer contracts.


Mike Keane


CIPS Programme Manager

University Centre at Blackburn College

Solidarity to all at Lambeth in the struggle from East Norfolk 6th Form NUT.


Good luck with your fight.


Hazel Ryan

Senior Tutor and Sociology Teacher

East Norfolk Sixth Form College

May I offer you and your members support in your courageous fight against your oppressive dictator.

You will reign supreme and the evil ogre will be ousted.

God bless you all. xx


Nita Sanghera
Lecturer – Access & Community
| Bournville College, Longbridge Lane, Longbridge, Birmingham


I am sure you will gets lots of emails of support for your action.

As chair of the SW Retired members branch can I add our branch support too.

Jo Corke
Stand your ground, Lambeth! It’s very important to feel supported as we who were made redundant at City Lit last summer were by our friends and colleagues in UCU.  We’re behind you.
Viv Pegram  (ex City Lit tutor made redundant after 25 years)
Sent from Windows Mail


Dear Lambeth College UCU,


I am writing to offer moral support for your dispute, which has implications for all of us. Keep up the good work.


Best wishes,




Dr Catherine Boyle

Senior Lecturer in Communication Skills Development

Student Services/Skills for Learning

London South Bank University

I am emailing you to express my support for you in your fight against Lambeth College’s introduction of inferior contracts for new staff and in your campaign against these contracts that cut holiday entitlement, reduce sick pay and introduce longer working week.
Good Luck and in solidarity

Professor Carl Chinn


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