Monday, 6 April 2009

College teachers strike in Eastbourne

[By Phil Clarke, Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden NUT Secretary - personal capacity]

NUT members at Park College, part of Sussex Downs college in Eastbourne, struck on 24 March over proposed changes to their contracts that would downgrade their positions.

The NUT teachers' union members are currently on Sixth Form College Forum-agreed terms but management are trying to move them onto lecturer contracts - on lower pay.

This comes at the same time the University and College Union (UCU) in the rest of the college are also in dispute over the management's refusal to pay a nationally agreed pay rise on the lecturer contracts.

The strike was originally to take place alongside a two-day strike by the UCU. This was suspended at the last minute because of new management offers. Despite this, the strike was very solid. The teachers are angered by the management's treatment of all staff. The local Socialist Party has been working in the local NUT and UCU branches to support the actions taken by both unions, and will continue to do so as the dispute continues.