NUT members at Bilborough College, Nottingham went on strike yesterday against compulsory redundancies, downgrading of teachers’ jobs and workload, with a picket from 7.45am to 9am.
After the announcements of government cuts almost two years ago the college made a plan to cope with the resulting financial difficulties.
However now – only a year later – the plan has changed radically and teachers have had a 10% increase in workload imposed permanently, are threatened with redundancies and are being removed from their role as tutors, for which unqualified, lower paid staff are being brought in.
In a leaflet handed to parents and students on the picket line yesterday, Nick Raine, NUT Regional Officer, said: ‘Each teacher faces a permanent 10% increase in student contact which means less individual support for students.
‘We fear this will have a negative impact on results and may stop some students achieving their goals – whether that is a university place, a job or even getting the grades to stay at Bilborough for Year 13.
‘Already this year the “temporary” increase of 10% in teachers’ workload means that staff have less time available for marking, preparation and supporting students in subject support on a one to one basis outside of lessons.
‘Teaching five-and-a-half A level groups instead of five is asking more from teachers here than at any other college/school we know.
‘Nothing is more demoralising than feeling you are not able to do your job to the best of your ability and this 10% hike in workload risks just that.
‘We fear some experienced and gifted staff will simply leave. Others may become sick and be off work with long term stress.
‘WE NEED YOUR HELP
‘WE URGE ALL STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO SUPPORT US IN THIS CAMPAIGN.
‘Strike action is a last resort and we do not want to take any further strike action in the run up to the exams but we feel we must win this fight.’
Speaking from Bilborough College, Nick Raine, NUT Regional Officer, told News Line: ‘We had about 32 members on the picket and we had solidarity picketing from the NUS at Nottingham University and the PCS sent some people down too. We had great support from the students at the college as well. The strike was solid.
‘We are basically on the front line here. What they are doing in the 6th form sector is making cuts right round the country.’