Thursday, April 03, 2014
Lambeth College - no attacks on workers' contracts!
Full respect to members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) at Lambeth College for a solid strike on Tuesday.
The dispute (of which UNISON is also very much a part) concerns the employers’ attempts to drive down conditions of service (initially for new starters).
Lambeth College management apparently fancy themselves as the shock troops for a national assault on conditions of service in the Further Education sector.
It is a crying shame they don’t choose instead to reflect the best traditions of one of the very best localities – and build better public services by working with their workforce (rather than against them).
Trade unionists in Lambeth will always be available to deal pragmatically with employers – but never on the basis of concession bargaining which reduces living standards in an area of great social need.
Senior managers at Lambeth College could seek to build reputations by embarking on a fight which will destroy them – or they could step back and work with the elected representatives of their workforce to really improve education in the borough.
The challenge for them is whether they are all about themselves as individuals or whether (like their workforce) they really care about Lambeth and its people.