STRIKING lecturers brought seven London colleges to a halt yesterday as they fought more cuts to further education.
University and College Union (UCU) members at the Haringey, Enfield and North East London, South Thames, North West London, Croydon, Greenwich Community, Hackney Community and Lewisham Southwark colleges walked out over risks to hundreds of jobs.
The union’s pressure has already ended disputes over pay and conditions at colleges such as City and Islington, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth.
For workers at Lewisham Southwark College (Lesoco) it was their fourth strike day this month over plans to kill off 100 positions.
Lesoco staff marched from their Waterloo campus to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where they rallied against Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s attacks on adult education.
“Today was a good show of support, specially a good show of support at Lewisham Southwark College,” UCU regional official Una O’Brien told the Star from the rally.
“The mood remains defiant and UCU members, wherever they can, will fight for every job.
Ms O’Brien added that the union’s recent victories were made at colleges where local disputes were resolved by college managements agreeing to rule out compulsory redundancies.
“We call on the remaining colleges to do the same in order to avoid any further disruption,” she said.
“I think people know there’s more in store, that the Tory government will be intent on making further cuts in education.”
Comedian Josie Long supported the protest, offering some of her wit and warm words to striking workers.