The London School Students Union have dropped us a line to say that as of yesterday (Thursday), the UCU strike at Tower Hamlets is over – the management have capitulated and the lecturers’ demands have been met!
After a month of solid striking, which has seen strong daily pickets,
widespread and heartfelt support and large community demonstrations,
they won the dispute. The College management had planned to make 13
redundancies, none of which will take place, and axe 1000 places from ESOL courses, 200 of which have now been saved.
UCU PRESS RELEASE
Members of UCU have returned to work at Tower
Hamlets College after hammering out an agreement to avoid compulsory
redundancies during 18 hours of talks at the arbitration service ACAS.
UCU members had been on strike for almost a month in their battle to
save jobs. The union said it was delighted that agreement had finally
been reached so that staff could get back to doing what they do best –
providing education for the community.
In June the college
announced that it was looking to get rid of 25 full-time posts and to
halve student places on its Skills for Life programme, as well as
getting rid of important outreach centres and support services for
students and learners.
Tower Hamlets College works with some of
the most underprivileged communities in London and UCU today said it
was looking forward to restoring positive industrial relations and
working constructively to address the on-going serious challenges
facing the college.
Commenting on the agreement, UCU head of
further education, Barry Lovejoy said: ‘Our members have fought a
tremendous campaign and UCU is pleased to have finally reached an
agreement with the college.
‘Tower Hamlets has the highest
unemployment of any borough in the country and needs a strong local
college. Staff do a fantastic job in working with some of the most
vulnerable people in society and I am delighted that the threat of
compulsory redundancies has been lifted. The college faces a number of
tough challenges and it is essential that management and the unions
have a constructive working relationship so that we can face them