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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2018

Services disappearing from Harrogate

Harrogate College strike picket line 17 May, photo James Paylor

Harrogate College strike picket line 17 May, photo James Paylor   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party North Yorkshire organiser

Staff at Harrogate College were back out on strike for two further days on 17-18 May. This is part of action across the Hull College Group. Some Unison members have refused to cross the University and College Union (UCU) picket line, leading to the library service being shut on the second day of action.

College management made the ludicrous claim in the press that there will be no effect on provision. Yet there will be no full-time higher education courses, no staff in the library before midday, no security staff and whole departments such as art will have no staff left!

Student support was prominent again. Many signed the petition against the cuts.

Creative placards on the picket line said 'stop targeting hardworking staff' and 'what about the next generation?' And one simply contained the name of the cuts package - 'Fresh Start' - and a cartoonish turd!

There is a real threat of important services disappearing from Harrogate. Cut at the college, the threat to remove guards from Northern Rail (the bulk of services to Harrogate), and the proposed closure of the briary wing at Harrogate hospital.

College cutbacks are not just unique to Harrogate & Hull. UCU members in Leeds took part in a joint protest with other trade unionists over cutbacks there. They've also won ballots for strike action at Kirklees and Bradford colleges recently. Bradford UCU members are due to strike on 23 May.

The battles against cuts taking place across the further education sector need to be linked up, challenging the underfunding of the sector which is driving its current increasing commercialisation.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 23 May 2018:


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Related links:

Harrogate:

triangleHarrogate academy workers strike against cuts

triangleHarrogate academy workers strike against closure

triangleHarrogate NSSN: Fight austerity in Harrogate

triangleHarrogate College strike against cuts

triangleHarrogate Socialist Party: France's 1968 'Month of Revolution'

College:

triangleSixth-form strikers stand firm for increased funding

triangleFighting government cuts to sixth form colleges: Picket line at City & Islington sixth form college, London, 12.2.20

triangleUniversity and College Union: Pensions, pay and conditions dispute reach a crucial stage

triangleUCU strikes: more determined than ever

UCU:

triangleSocialist Students speaking tour

triangleNottingham uni occupation ends

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Strike:

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleBexley binworkers' strike wins sick pay from day one

Cuts:

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

Education:

triangleSchools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

Colleges:

triangleNEU members' sixth-form walkouts

North Yorkshire:

triangleFire service victory

Higher Education:

triangleStudents and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March

Yorkshire:

triangleWestex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

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