Lambeth College staff to go on indefinite strike over working conditions

UCU members will walk out of Lambeth College next week in a dispute over changes to working conditions

UCU members will walk out of Lambeth College next week in a dispute over changes to working conditions

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Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will begin indefinite strike action at Lambeth College next weel, it was announced today.

Members will walk out on Tuesday, June 3, and have vowed not to return to work until their dispute over proposed changes to terms and conditions is resolved.

In the strike ballot, 89 per cent of UCU members who voted backed the call for industrial action, on a turnout of 72 per cent.

The union said the "overwhelming mandate" demonstrated members' resolve to defend their working conditions and said it hoped the college would now come back for serious negotiations.

Staff had already backed indefinite strike action in a previous ballot, but the college used anti-union laws to take UCU to court and force an injunction that only permitted a day's strike action.

UCU members took a one-day strike on Thursday May 1.

The dispute centres on the college's introduction last month of contracts for new staff joining after April 1 which the union said will leave them with bigger workloads with less sick pay and fewer holidays.

UCU regional official, Una O'Brien, said: "UCU members will walk out next week and they have made it crystal clear that they will stay out for as long as it takes.

"The college has so far used every trick in the book to try and blockstrike action. It would have been better off using the time and resources to try and resolve the dispute.

"Opting to challenge members' democratic wishes to take action through the courts has just hardened their resolve and turned our protests into an indefinite strike.

"The time has come for serious negotiations."

A spokesman for the college said: “Despite our offer to continue talking to UCU, their interest seems to be in preserving the past and are unwilling to accept that change is required to make Lambeth College fit for purpose.

“We cannot allow the college to stand by and allow that to happen, we simply have to move with the times.”

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