Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/438/5184
LSC staff say "enough is enough"
"WHEN WILL Mark Haysom stop running the LSC as a PLC - before or after his knighthood?" This was typical of the comments from the Sheffield picket line about the chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) last Friday, 28 April.
Marion Lloyd, PCS national executive committee
PCS members in the LSC mounted a successful one-day strike, protesting against the management plans to axe 1,120 jobs - at the same time as recruiting 700 new staff!
Funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the LSC is responsible for funding and planning education and training for over 16 year-olds in England.
Despite this being a public-sector organisation, the management there have employed some of the worst private management practices in order to cull jobs.
It is hardly surprising - before Mark Haysom was appointed chief executive of the LSC in August 2003, he had spent almost 30 years in the newspaper industry.
As managing director of national newspapers for Trinity Mirror, he was responsible for the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail. So he'll be well versed in private sector management practices!
Remember, it was the LSC under his leadership who tried to get an injunction against the civil service strike on 5 November 2004.
He has already put workers through his "Agenda for Change" programme, which shrunk the staffing numbers by 25%. He claimed those proposals will not only make it a smaller, more dynamic organisation but also release savings of some £40 million per year which would benefit 80,000 adults or 12,000 young learners.
Well, he obviously got that wrong, so he's having another go! Playing with people's lives and livelihoods, the LSC are not only ruthlessly sacking more than 1,000 workers but attempting to recruit new workers to take their place. The employer proposes to make people redundant on inferior terms and refuses the call from PCS for a 'no compulsory redundancy' agreement, despite the fact that any compulsory redundancies are avoidable.
PCS members in the LSC have said enough is enough! This is particularly significant given that this is a new organisation with a young history of trade union activity and organisation. In a magnificent 64% turnout - the highest turnout for a strike ballot for some years - more than 87% members voted "yes" for discontinuous strike action.
In Sheffield, more than 20 pickets turned out to demonstrate their anger at the behaviour of their management. New members were being recruited into PCS on the picket line and union membership in this organisation has grown significantly in the last few weeks. Reports indicate that this tremendous level of support has been repeated up and down the country.
A work to rule starts on 2 May - if management don't concede, further action is threatened. So they'd better take note!
In The Socialist 4 May 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
1926 General Strike
International socialist news and analysis