PICKETING AS PERFORMANCE ART

UCU members joined the Royal College of Art strikers on their picket line today.

RCA members are on strike over unfair and precarious employment practices, unsafe workloads especially regarding a new academic model that will completely restructure their teaching and on issues of equalities. Many of their committee members from 2020/21 who have left the institution were casualised members, women and from Global Ethnic Majority backgrounds, so the issue of equalities has deeply effected them as a branch. It was a pleasure to go down and support them on their picket and to offer them solidarity on behalf of all CCCG UCU members.

STRIKE DAY 2: This is how good it feels to be on strike!

Joining our picket lines is so uplifting! Enjoy a spot of solidarity with the CONEL Enfield strikers as they celebrate their sense of comradeship and togetherness in this post-picket breakfast video:

Other picket lines across CCCG have been equally vibrant and upbeat as these pics from today’s strike day demonstrate. And the photos continue to pour in.

STRIKE DAY 1: FANTASTIC PICKETS

Our strike action got off to a magnificent start today with all sites across the three colleges reporting solid picket lines and overwhelming support from staff and students. A noisy and energised lobby of CCCG’s HQ at the Victoria Centre at lunchtime drew enthusiastic support from striking teachers and LSAs and local and national UCU officials. A few photos below capture the spirit and solidarity on display across our many picket lines. For daily updates on events at each college see ‘Strike News’ section.

READY TO GO: 96% VOTE FOR ACTION

Congratulations and thanks to all our members at WKC for this fantastic result. All our hard work and commitment has paid off. 15 Further Education colleges have balloted their members over pay and conditions – and all voted overwhelmingly to take strike action in the Autumn term.

  • Capital City College Group (City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and College of Northeast London): 96% vote for action – 65% turnout. 
  • South Thames Group (Merton College, Wandsworth and Tooting College, Carshalton College and Kingston College): 75% vote for action – 60% turnout.
  • Lambeth College: 90% vote for action – 65% turnout.
  • Croydon College: 93% vote for action – 71% turnout.
  • City of Liverpool College: 82% vote for action – 64% turnout.
  • New College Swindon: 88% vote for action – 60% turnout.
  • Weymouth College: 89% vote action – 62% turnout.
  • City College Plymouth: 86% vote action – 58% turnout
  • City of Bristol College: 94% vote for action – 70% turnout.
  • Sheffield College: 84% vote for action – 53% turnout.

UCU branches at CCCG and across these 14 other colleges will now agree dates in the Autumn term to begin our campaign of escalating strike action. UCU’s Further Education Committee has also agreed a plan to implement UCU conference motions calling for a national industrial action ballot over pay and workload to begin in the Autumn term.

UCU STRIKE BALLOT OPENS 14 JUNE

You should have received a ballot envelope (similar to this one). It will have been sent to your ‘preferred address’, this may be your work or home address.

You are being asked to consider industrial action – the ballot opened 14th June.

What is the main issue we are voting on?

In your ballot envelope you will received a detailed insert explaining the below 5 points in more detail. But as a summary:

1.      Pay. We deserve a 3.5% pay rise. Since 2009 AoC pay recommendations have fallen 30% behind inflation and on average FE teaching staff are paid £9k less than school teaching staff.

2.      Restructure and Redundancies. We oppose all CR. We oppose cuts in remission hours of lead tutors and hours relating to teaching, learning and pastoral care. 

3.      Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy. For CCCG to withdraw their current policy and to establish an ungraded observation policy built on peer assessment.

4.      Workloads. To follow Guided Learning Hours, ensure manageable class sizes and employ specialist attendance staff.

5.      Holiday booking agreement. To agree protocols and procedures for booking of staff holidays and use of iTrent

Recording of Wednesday’s meeting

We’ve published the recording of Wednesday’s meeting on Lesson Observations, which was addressed by Matt O’Leary and Martine Ellis. The feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive and if you didn’t have a chance to view this thought-provoking and inspiring discussion live, please find the time to watch the recording soon. The link can be found here:

https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/9f080dc2-baa0-46fa-aff7-9dbf58a434ea