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.
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.
Lambeth College UCU