Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Greens support Barnfield FE College UCU strike

Two Green Left members, Marc Scheimann and myself, joined striking teachers on the picket line this morning at a Luton college, Barnfield FE College. We were the only political support on the picket, and have got excellent local media coverage including local radio. The official UCU picket, with about 50 lecturers, covered all access routes to the campus. I was on the picket from 7.00 to 10.00 am. Students were extremely supportive, taking our leaflets and stickers, with motorists honking support. The strike is over new contracts with increased teaching hours, imposed by a vicious predatory management, working directly with Gove, aiming to set up a privatised federation of the college, academies and free schools. The principal has just been knighted. Recent attempts to sell off a large Luton playing field around Barnfield College have been temporarily halted, after tremendous local community opposition, supported by Luton & Bedfordshire Green Party. I fear the government are using Barnfield as a showcase and template to roll out elswhere. Malcolm Bailey

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