Lambeth College management are introducing new contracts for new staff and any existing staff who wish to change their hours or get promotion. The new contracts require teachers to teach longer hours, to work extra evenings and weekends without pay, and to take shorter holidays. There will also be other changes e.g. less sick pay for teachers who become ill.
Management say we must make these changes because the College budget from the Government has been reduced. However, management has also borrowed a lot of money for building work at Clapham, while the buildings in the other centres need repair and investment.
The teachers’ union, UCU has asked management to withdraw the contracts. College teachers are working harder than ever before. Like other public services, colleges have had many years of budget cuts and increasing paperwork, putting more pressure on teachers. If teachers have to teach more hours we will have less time to prepare lessons, and to mark students’ work, which means the quality of education will suffer. We will not have enough time to support our students to successfully complete their courses and pass their exams. Teachers will become ill more often and students will miss more lessons.
Lambeth College management refused to withdraw the new contracts and so the trade union UCU declared a dispute. When talking fails, a strike is the only way for the union to put pressure on the management. The teachers voted for indefinite strike action starting on June 3rd because they want to force the management to withdraw the contracts. We are worried about the quality of education in Lambeth College. Due to all this we ask you, our students, to support your teachers in the following ways:
- Show your solidarity by not crossing the picket line to enter any of the College centres
- Visit the picket line at one of the 3 College centres to show support for the teachers and to get more information
- Sign our petition asking Lambeth College’s management to withdraw the contracts
- Email the Lambeth College principal, Mark Silverman, firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him that you support the teachers and that he should withdraw the new contracts
- Log on to our Facebook page Solidarity with Lambeth College to find out about activities for students during the strike