Defending ESOL at Bradford College

This week, our branch secretary, Geraint Evans, was invited to speak to Bradford Community Broadcasting Radio during the Drive Time slot. You can hear him talking about the importance of ESOL at Bradford College here:http://www.podcast.canstream.co.uk/bcb/index.php?cat=Drive%20. Click on Drive Time and look for Thursday, 24th September, he’s half way through 5 to 6 podcast.

Many thanks from the Action for ESOL team.

You can also support us by downloading and adapting this letter to council %28v4 ucu.

Please adapt it and send it to your councillors and MP. The more pressure they get from different places the better.

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Bad news as hard working lecturers finished for their summer break

As we were going off on our summer leave after a tough year, there came the announcement that the government were going to make a further 3.9% to the Adult Skills Budget (on top of the 24% cut already announced) and total withdrawal to funding the to JCP ESOL Mandation courses. At Bradford College, these courses represent 1/3 of the work carried out by ESOL Bradford lecturers.

So, when we thought it was safe to go on holiday, ESOL staff are now back in a redundancy pool.

Action for ESOL are taking steps to try to campaign against these really damaging cuts. Please see the http://actionforesol.org/

Locally, there is a splinter group Action for ESOL Yorkshire that is trying to co-ordinate action we can take across the region since this is going to hit all colleges.

The principal of Kirklees College has come out against the cuts: https://www.tes.co.uk/news/further-education/breaking-views/dear-mr-cameron-college-principal-warns-pm-danger-posed-esol

We are calling on the new principal of Bradford College to do the same and support Action for ESOL.

We are also inviting you to continue to help us campaign to protect the quality and provision of ESOL and adult education.

One suggestion to fill the gap left by proper investment is that volunteers and neighbours can help teach ESOL: https://www.tes.co.uk/news/further-education/breaking-views/opinion-how-ease-pressure-a-creaking-esol-system.

So, what can you do?

If you are an ESOL lecturer, continue having your summer break but don’t forget that your union is here to support you. The contacts in the previous post still apply.

When you come back, be ready to continue the fight for quality jobs and education in FE.

In solidarity,

Defend Education at Bradford College

Solidarity spans the regions

Our sisters and brothers from UCU South West Region held a stall at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in Dorset at the weekend. Ann Jarvis from Yorkshire and Humberside Region was also there. At the end of the weekend they had £90 which they have generously donated to the strike fund for the staff at Bradford College ‘in solidarity and support of your amazing resilience against attacks.’ Many thanks to them.

UCU stand

This donation is very much welcome.

As we start the summer holidays 17 posts are still in danger of compulsory  redundancy.

We will need to carry on our campaign and be prepared to take action in September.

If you are in a pool remember that:

  • You have the right to a one to one interview regarding redundancy once the matrix stage is reached
  • You have the right to check information regarding you on a completed matrix form is correct
  • You have the right to apply for any job advertised within the college
  • You have a right to a holiday and can ask for meetings or interview opportunities to be made available when you return from holidays

Union Officers will also be taking holiday but if you need support contact in the first instance:

Now until the 25th July                              Geraint Evans and Debbie Rolls

From the 25th July –  1st September      Chris Webb and Debbie Rolls

There may be times when we all are unavailable.

If you need Union support in and we are not available please contact the UCU Regional Office in Leeds at ayorkshirehe@ucu.org.uk  or on 0113 200 2940

We hope you all manage to spend some time relaxing and enjoying yourselves over the summer, don’t let them grind you down.

Bradford College Staff show strength and unity

To All Involved,

We showed strength and unity today. Taking strike action is never easy, despite the sun. We want to be doing our jobs for good of the College and for the people of Bradford so they continue to have access to a quality education no matter their age or background. Beneath the smiles and the sunny day surface we are angry and were forced to take action. If anyone has pictures they wish to share, send them to the email address or add them onto the Facebook page.

We picketed in the morning

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And we lobbied in the afternoon

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Thanks to Ian Ellis for the photographs.

Get Ready for Thursday 9th

Last Tuesday had a fantastic turnout. We had over 80 people on the picket lines between 7.30 and 10.00. Let’s do it again Thursday – make it even bigger, even better! Show the management and governors our anger over the plans to cut staff.

UCU members at Bradford College have shown a commitment to fighting to defend education in the city. We know that we are protecting opportunities for vulnerable communities as well as protecting jobs.

We need to continue to campaign and show our resolution by striking one last time this academic year on July 9th. If senior management continue to fail to resolve the situation we will need to continue taking strike action in September at the start of the new academic year.

UCU believe that we are now in a position where the threat of compulsory redundancies could be removed as it has been in a number of other colleges. If this does not happen then the ongoing insecurity may cause the college to lose important members of staff over the summer. College and UCU members need to be able to enjoy the summer break without the threat of redundancy and chaos.

9th July – A key day for the college

Thursday 9th July is a key day for the college. A wide range of visitors are due to be in college on this day for the corporation meeting, examination meetings and interviews for the Principal and Provost posts. The corporation meeting will approve the college budget. If the threat of compulsory redundancies is not withdrawn then we need a large rally at 4pm to send a message to governors that they should only approve the budget if it does not involve compulsory redundancies. Speakers from national UCU and local campaign groups will be attending to give their support to the campaign.

We will also hand in our petition against cuts and redundancies to the corporation meeting. We already have well over a 1,000 signatures. Help us gather more before the 9th. Please bring completed sheets with you on Thursday.

So, on Thursday join the picket from 7.30 onwards and then come and bring friends, family and supporters, stray students for a rally of the governors from 4 o’clock.

Support your union, support your colleagues defend jobs and education at Bradford College.

Bradford College lecturers to take further strike action

Next strike day will be Thursday 9th July.

This will give us the opportunity to have a mass demonstration outside the college as governors arrive for the corporation meeting and UCU deliver the Defend Education Petition.

This week we had a fantastic turnout of over 80 members on pickets lines and great press coverage. Many of us then went on to demonstrate in Leeds.

On Thursday 9th we want as many of us as possible on picket lines from 7.30 -9.30 am. We want EVERYONE to come and demonstrate from 4.00 – 5.15pm so governors understand our anger.

Please get involved and take a stand. No to compulsory redundancies.