Further Education (FE) colleges in England are facing a cut to adult education budgets of over £191 million for the year 2010-2011. That’s an average 16% budget cut per college, but in some institutions the figure is as high as 25%.
The employers have set the number of jobs under threat nationally at 7,000.
The FE sector, like the HE sector, is moving toward a business-focused, market-driven funding model that serves the needs of local employers at the expense of less vocational courses and adult learning.
Against these cuts, UCU lecturers’ union members in 11 colleges in London will be balloting for strike action.
The ballots are to open in the week beginning 5 April.
Striking lecturers would be supported by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, to which Lambeth Unison has now signed up.
March against college cuts
Perhaps as many as 1,000 demonstrators — staff, students and their supporters — marched against proposed college cuts in London on 20 March. The march was called by the London region of the lecturers’ University and College Union (UCU).
This is a real sign that all the recent anti-cuts efforts and feats (student occupations and staff strikes at Sussex, Leeds, London Metropolitan, Tower Hamlets, etc) are inspiring, encouraging and giving teachers the confidence to mobilise.
Police had pleaded with demonstration organisers to stick to the pavements; luckily our numbers were huge, so this wasn’t a possibility. We took to the roads for our march from King’s College, on the Strand, to Downing Street.
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts had a lively contingent on the march, as did the school teachers’ union, the NUT.
NCAFC is playing a coordinating role for college anti-cuts campaigns. To get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org; join our Facebook group — The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.