Monday, 21 September 2009

Tower Hamlets College Strike

It appears that Michael Farley thinks that he can deliver an education to students without a teaching staff.

He has told you that:

• Curriculum managers and teaching staff have prepared a curriculum programme starting on September 14. Have you walked around the staff work rooms to see how many teachers are in work?

• That although there will be some amendments to student’s scheduled timetables, they will still receive a positive learning experience. How will they get that without their teachers? '

Matters are now coming to a head in this dispute. Our mass meeting this week re-affirmed our commitment to fighting job cuts and course cuts through indefinite strike action. We will not be there on September 14 to teach these classes unless the Senior Management Teamis prepared to think again. Far from seeking to find an agreed solution to the dispute, management have only made concessions in July due to our collective pressure. Since the all-out strike began on the 27th August our branch negotiators have been waiting at the end of a telephone line for acall to negotiate – and no call has come from Michael Farley. It wasn't until Wednesday 16th September that he began to talk with our negotiators, these talks have so far come to nothing. At the moment they are trying to pretend that everything is as normal and that there are enough existing members of the teaching staff still working to carry on despite the strike. Whilst we know that our industrial action has placed extra burdens ony ou during enrolment, and we know that our students need these courses, please bear this in mind:

• We too are suffering because of this dispute – financially because we are losing wages, but also because we care about our students.

• We are fighting to defend the jobs of our colleagues and to defend course provision for our students – not for any individual personal gain.

• We have consistently fought not only for our jobs and conditions of work of teaching staff, but also for the jobs and conditions of work of all THC staff. This dispute cannot be resolved by pretending that it does not exist.We are determined that it will be resolved in a manner that defends jobs and education. We are also aware that we will have our work cut out to rebuild the damage caused by the dispute when it is over. We simply ask that you keep faith with us and support us in any way that is possible.

From Tower Hamlets teaching staff.

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