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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2009

College strike

UCU members at Barnsley college are fighting pay cuts and increased workload. Strike action took place on 3 and 5 November.

There is a proposal to give lecturers a more managerial role within the college - thereby spending less time interacting with students and planning effective lessons. A 37-hour contract previously consisted of 21 hours of teaching, and 16 hours of marking, lesson preparation and organisation. Today, the contract is made up of 24 hours teaching per week, plus one cover lesson.

Giving lecturers titles such as 'course leader' or 'associate teacher' will mean cuts of 10,000 - 12,000 per year. Staff would also have an increased workload. This is, ultimately, demotion.

So far, six staff have been affected by these changes. A-level staff have been informed they 'won't be affected', but to many it seems inevitable.

As one lecturer described it, lecturers are 'at the coalface' of college life - interacting directly with students and teaching is the backbone of everything.

Further strike action is planned for the end of November.

Kirsty Morris Welsh

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In The Socialist 11 November 2009:

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Socialism 2009

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