On the 10th of November University and College Union (UCU) members went on strike over the pay of FE teachers, pursuing their claim for an extra £1 per hour pay for all members.
Further and adult education is becoming increasingly marketised and after an announcement of further cuts in the summer the government is looking to see 300 colleges condensed and merged into just 70! This would mean that many unemployed young adults will no longer have a local college to turn to and will be forced out and robbed of the chance of further education. A chance we see as fundamental to save. In line with this FE teachers are facing pay cuts, job losses, increased workloads and ever growing class sizes. With 73.7% of the UCU voting yes for the strike it is clear that now is the time to take action and we are prepared to support FE teachers!
On Tuesday we visited our local college, the Leamington Spa campus of the Warwickshire college group, and stood in solidarity on the picket lines with the striking teachers. The teachers deemed it to be a fairly successful picket line that educated teachers, students and members of the public on the current challenges FE teachers are facing as well as showing that the UCU are not prepared to let these changes happen without a fight! And WFFE will stand in solidarity with that fight.