Lambeth College strike escalation and demonstration

16 December 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Members of UCU at Lambeth College are holding a demonstration on Wednesday as part of their ongoing dispute over contract changes.

Taking place at the end of the latest three-day strike, the demonstration will feature speakers including comedian Jeremy Hardy, as well as representatives from UCU and sister trade union Unison. It starts at 12pm outside the college's Clapham Centre.

The row centres on new contracts introduced by the college without consulting the union. UCU has welcomed a commitment from the college that it will not impose the new contracts on staff employed before April 2014.

However, the union remains unhappy with the two-tier employment structure the contracts have produced and wants the new contract removed or a fresh one drawn up with the union's agreement.

More than four-fifths (83%) of UCU members who voted backed the call for action on a high turnout of 58%. In June, UCU members went out on strike for five weeks - the longest strike in the union's history.

The latest action is part of a programme of one, two and three day strikes which started earlier this month. If no resolution is found, members will resume their protests in the New Year, culminating in all-out indefinite strike action from Monday 19 January. The current industrial action timetable is:

  • three days of strike action on Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 December 2014
  • two days of strike action on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 January 2015
  • three days of strike action on Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 January 2015
  • continuous strike action from Monday 19 January 2015.

UCU regional official, Una O'Brien, said: 'UCU members at Lambeth College are determined to defend their contracts and the contracts of new staff. They do not accept the two-tiered nature of the contracts the college wants to bring in and have made it quite clear they are prepared to take serious industrial action to resolve the dispute.

'The time has surely now come for the college to come back to the negotiating table and get this matter sorted. If they continue to refuse to talk to us then we risk seeing all-out indefinite strike action from next month.'

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