Members of the National Union of Teachers at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Brislington, Bristol will be going on strike on Thursday 28th June. This is likely to be the first of a series of escalating actions after a 93% vote in favour of action.
The dispute is about huge cuts in the College budget. Cuts are hitting sixth form colleges all over the country as a result of the Government’s austerity programme but St Brendan’s is being particularly badly hit as the management is attempting to carry out three years’ worth of cuts in one year. There have been big job losses including compulsory redundancies. Unqualified staff are being brought in to do teachers’ work and, as a result of regrading and restructuring, there is the bizarre situation of external appointments “bumping” existing staff out of a job.
Yet again post-16 education is being hit after the scrapping of EMA grants for students and an increase in tuition fees for university. The Government really does want to preserve further and higher education only for posh boys and girls whose mummies and daddies can pay for it.
The NUT will be picketing the College on the 28th and calling on support from students and parents. NUT membership has doubled from 25 to 50 since we went into dispute showing that militancy pays in terms of union strength. NUT members who have taken action in colleges in other parts of the country have won.
Please send messages of support to the NUT Representative at St Brendan’s, Walter Lees (firstname.lastname@example.org)