Indefinite strike action to begin at Lambeth College on Tuesday 3 June

27 May 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Members of UCU will begin indefinite strike action at Lambeth College on Tuesday 3 June, the union announced today.

Members will walk out next week and have vowed not to return to work until their increasingly bitter dispute over proposed changes to terms and conditions is resolved.

In the strike ballot, a massive 89% of UCU members who voted backed the call for industrial action, on a very high turnout of 72%. The union said the overwhelming mandate demonstrated members' resolve to defend their working condition and said it hoped the college would now come back for serious negotiations.

'The college has so far used every trick in the book to try and block strike action. It would have been better off using the time and resources to try and resolve the dispute.'
Una O'Brien, UCU Regional Official

Staff had already backed indefinite strike action in a previous ballot. However, the college used anti-union laws to take UCU to court and force an injunction that only permitted a day's strike action.

UCU members took a one-day strike on Thursday 1 May and the union said the college's decision to go through the courts to stop them walking out indefinitely was likely to have hardened members' resolve.

The dispute centres on the college's introduction last month of contracts for new staff joining after 1 April 2014 which will leave them with bigger workloads, but less sick pay and fewer holidays. UCU said the changes would leave new joiners working longer hours than all but three of London's 38 further education colleges.

UCU regional official, Una O'Brien, said: 'UCU members will walk out next week and they have made it crystal clear that they will stay out for as long as it takes. The college has so far used every trick in the book to try and block strike action. It would have been better off using the time and resources to try and resolve the dispute.

'Opting to challenge members' democratic wishes to take action through the courts has just hardened their resolve and turned our protests into an indefinite strike. The time has come for serious negotiations.'

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