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London lecturer jobs saved - but strike will still hit Hackney

12 June 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Staff at Hackney Community College will strike tomorrow after talks between the college and UCU failed to resolve the problem of compulsory job losses.

In April UCU notified nine London colleges that staff planned to strike unless the colleges could guarantee there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Since then Hackney Community College is the only one of the nine who has not satisfied the union that the issue is resolved or that further talks may bring about a satisfactory resolution. The union has already successfully prevented compulsory redundancies in six of the colleges and has currently suspended strike action in other two other.

The colleges announced the job cuts in response to a £25 million reduction in government funding for adult education in the capital and consequently 25 jobs are at risk at Hackney Community College. In the recent ballot of UCU members in affected London colleges, 74% of voting lecturers supported strike action and 90% supported action short of a strike.

The main picket line will be at the Falkirk Street centre of the college (Shoreditch N1) from 7.30am.

Chris Powell, UCU London regional official, said: 'We are pleased that six colleges were able to give satisfactory assurances that no compulsory redundancies would take place. It is regrettable that Hackney Community College was unable to give us any assurances and that the strike will take place as planned.

'The government is forcing colleges to behave in a way which is squeezing out courses for retired people and mature students with skills needs. Lecturers are deeply disappointed to see the loss of many courses which are highly valued by local communities. We will do our utmost to defend jobs but the broader public must also raise its voice about course losses.'

Employers in nine London colleges were notified in April that there would be an official dispute if they could not provide guarantees that there would be no compulsory redundancies in connection with adult education cutbacks.

Six of these colleges have satisfied UCU that there will be no compulsory redundancies: City and Islington College; Hammersmith and West London College; Kingsway College; Tower Hamlets College; CONEL (College of North East London) and Lambeth College.

Following positive discussions at both Southgate College and Barnet College, the union agreed to suspend the all day strike action scheduled for Wednesday and instead will be organising lunchtime demonstrations outside the colleges. However, UCU members at the College of North West London, also facing compulsory redundancies, have begun a separate ballot on industrial action.