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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2010

Strike at Northumberland College

Lecturers at Northumberland College were on strike on 22 April for the future of the college. They are being threatened with pay cuts, increased workloads, and job losses.

Ian Pattison, Socialist Students and Newcastle Free Education Network

Toby Bell, UCU branch chair explained that some staff could face a 25% pay cut or 10,000 a year, and have their workloads increased by 5-10% from 825 hours annually to up to 1,000 annual hours for some.

Those that don't accept the double blow of less pay and more hours will lose their jobs. Every lecturer could potentially be made redundant, with only some re-hired on worse contracts. There is a lot of anger at the bullying attitude of management at Northumberland and that's why 90% were in favour of strike action on a 70% turnout, and 99% in favour of action short of strike.

Support staff at Northumberland College are mainly organised in Unison. They are also involved in a dispute to defend jobs and pay. Unison weren't out on strike, but fully supported the action taken by lecturers, and had been out on the picket lines with them early in the morning.

Students are very supportive of their lecturers, and completely opposed to the actions of management.

Northumberland College is a big employer in Ashington and hugely important for young people in the area.

The ineptness of management and their top-down attitude threatens all that.

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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 28 April 2010:

Vote for a socialist alternative


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Heading for a coalition government?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fund a political alternative to the establishment parties

Filthy rich get richer

World's most unequal city

Greek crisis

No trust


Socialist Party election campaign

A 'beacon of hope' in Gateshead

STUSC candidates speak

Press try to gag socialists in Walthamstow campaign

Debt balloons go up in Brighton Kemptown

Cleaning up in Cardiff

Extremes of rich and poor in Swansea

Campaign hots up in Lewisham

"That makes real sense to me"

TUSC: 'Hear your candidate' meetings


Socialist Party feature

Jobs not cuts


Socialist Party election analysis

Can the Greens help provide a left alternative?


Socialist Party feature

Housing in crisis: Bankers rob people


Socialist Party workplace news

Nottingham city council: Shocking new cuts!

Unison health conference

Glasgow CSG workers fight pay freeze

Three years of wage cuts for council workers

Strike at Northumberland College

Workplace news in brief


 

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