Posts Tagged ‘UCU’

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Staff and students at Lambeth College were shocked by the announcement last week that the college is to lose 70% of its Brixton Centre campus.

Since the college management announced last July that they intended to sell off all or part of the centre to private developers, Lambeth College UCU and Unison, have led a community campaign to stop the sale and to keep and expand the provision of further education in Brixton. Staff, students and campaigners are upset and angry at this recent development in the college’s plans, which will see a reduction in the Brixton centre from 6000 to 2000 sq feet, with a loss of two thirds of the current number of classrooms, as the site is sold to the government Department of Education (DfE).

Unions disagree that this massive reduction of the Brixton Centre campus is  “really good news for the College and the community” as has been presented by the college management in its communication to staff. With 1.2 million young people in Britain out of work and over 60% of young black men unemployed, we believe that it is Further Education provision is essential and must not be reduced. The Brixton Centre provides vital educational opportunities for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, for young people who need to re-engage with education, and for migrants and those with English as a 2nd language (ESOL) who need to learn English to improve their lives.

There has not been consultation with the staff or students in the areas affected by the reduction as to what will happen to the students and the courses in those areas and the college has also said that it cannot  rule out staff redundancies. Furthermore, there are many concerns about the decision by the DfE to open a new free school on the campus premises.

The  campaign collected over 1000 signatures and organised a successful demonstration and lobby of Lambeth Council on November 20 where the petition was presented to the council meeting. Staff from the college met with local MPs including Chuka Ummuna and Tessa Jowell to raise their concerns and ask for support in protecting and expanding the college’s provision at the Brixton Centre.

We are very disappointed that the college has decided to press on with its plans to sell 70% of the Brixton Centre campus and will continue to campaign alongside college students and the local and wider communities to stop this attack on local further education in Lambeth and to save and expand the provision at the Brixton Centre campus.

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20th November poster
Lots of people will be protesting outside the full council meeting this Wednesday:

We’re having a united protest outside the Town Hall from 6pm on Wednesday 20th November

Many people will be meeting outside Lambeth College on Brixton Hill from 5pm to march to Lambeth Town Hall

Please come, and please bring all your friends.

20th November poster
The is a full council meeting of Lambeth Council on Wednesday 20th November and two campaigns Lambeth SOS supports a holding a joint lobby

Lobby – Save Brixton From Property Developers
No Bedroom Tax Evictions, Save Lambeth College in Brixton, Build More Council Housing
Wednesay 20th November 5:30pm – 7pm
Lambeth Town Hall

We need to make sure people know about it over the coming week. We’re doing the following to publicise it

  • Postering Streatham shops – Wednesday 13th November – 6:30pm – Meet at the Telford Avenue Bus Garage on Streatham Hill
  • Postering South Lambeth Road shops – Time TBC
  • Stall – Friday 15th November – 12noon – Outside the Barrier Block on Somerlyton Road
  • Stall – Saturday 16th November – 12 noon – Streatham High Road (opposite Odeon, outside Sainsburys)

If you can help out with any of these please contact us, and include your phone number in the email (please don’t just turn up as they may be changed at short notice)

Soft copy publicity is available here. If you want hard copy publicity please contact us

Please tell everyone you know about the 20th November lobby. We need it to be big if we are to convince the council that everyone deserves a decent home and a decent education

The campaign to Save Lambeth College in Brixton, which Lambeth SOS supports, was featured prominently in this week’s South London Press

SLP Lambeth College

Stop the Cuts in Lambeth College

Posted: September 1, 2013 by lambethsaveourservices in Media attention, Uncategorized
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There was a story on the cuts in Lambeth College on the front page of this week’s Brixton & South London Press, along with a picture credit to Lambeth Save Our Services
SLP Lambeth College SOS pic

Stop the Lambeth College sell off

Posted: August 25, 2013 by rabidleftwinger in Uncategorized
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UCU at Lambeth College have recently issued this press release regarding the proposed sell off of Brixton Campus


The Brixton Centre of Lambeth College of Further Education has been providing excellent, essential education for over 25 years. The Brixton centre specialises in courses for young people who need an opportunity to re-engage with education; for students with learning difficulties and disabilities; and for immigrants and those living here who need to improve their English language skills.

These three areas of education are vital for the local community and for the borough. There are now 1m unemployed 16-24 year olds in the UK, and 60% of young black men in the UK are unemployed. Following the summer riots of 2011, reduced council funding for children’s and young people’s services, the removal of EMA, the closure of local Connexions services, and the unprecedented high unemployment figures for 16-24 years olds, it is more important than ever before that the Brixton centre provides education opportunities and promotes inclusion for young and dis-engaged people in Brixton.

In a multi-cultural borough like Lambeth where around 150 different languages are spoken, the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at Brixton provide a lifeline for thousands of local residents and their families. There are waiting lists of hundreds for the ESOL courses at Brixton, where some students have been waiting for as long as 2 years to get on a course.

Lambeth College ESOL protestThe disabled are among the hardest hit by the government and local council’s austerity agenda. The Brixton centre provides courses which are educational, promote independent living and most importantly offer a safe and welcoming environment for students with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties (LLDD), many of whom are severely disabled. Relocating classes for disabled students to community venues will mean the loss of specialist equipment and facilities and a significant decrease in quality and safety.

UCU believes that the decision by the current management of Lambeth College to sell off the Brixton Centre of the college to private developers will have a detrimental effect on the lives of the students who attend these courses and on educational opportunities for the borough.

The sell-off has been justified because of unused space at the centre. Yet there are lengthy waiting lists for ESOL courses due to the lack of classroom space available. Members of staff have been not been given suitable office space while some cannot get an office at all and others are being packed into already cramped staff rooms.

The current management say the college is in deficit and needs to sell the premises to make some money. Yet the same management has put the college further into debt in order to build a new street complex at the Clapham Centre. This not only increases the deficit but has tied us into additional interest repayments for future years.

Single ESOL personUCU believes that selling off the Brixton Centre is not a strategy for growth but will reduce the provision in these 3 vital areas of education. In the current climate of youth unemployment, rising costs of living and attacks on those with lower incomes, UCU believes that it is a potentially dangerous step to remove Further Education provision from the heart of Lambeth Borough.

The college should be investing in maintaining and expanding provision at Brixton to ensure that our most vulnerable students are not excluded from the college’s plan for our community’s education and that Lambeth College can continue to provide a lifeline to the increasing number of people who are looking to education for a way out of poverty, unemployment and disengagement.

UCU banner
We’ve just received this message from Mandy Brown at Lambeth College UCU

Management at Lambeth College have given a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for teaching staff. The guarantee was issued at 4pm on Wednesday afternoon, the day before the planned 1 day strike on Thursday 11th July. This follows months of campaigning by UCU against job losses and against the introduction of a graded appraisal policy.

Following the announcement that the number of compulsory redundancies had been reduced to 7 and that management would resume talks over the graded appraisal policy, UCU responded with a lunchtime strike on Thursday 4th July. This action was well-supported by teaching and support staff across the college as well as the local community.

After the next 1 day strike by UCU members was announced, a guarantee was given that there would be no compulsory redundancies for teaching staff and that talks would begin after summer over the graded appraisal policy.

Industrial action has been suspended and the branch will meet after the summer break to decide if further action is necessary.

Thanks to all for the many messages of support the branch has received during this dispute and thanks to Lambeth SOS for your continued support.

This just in form Lambeth College UCU! You can also follow along on facebook here at https://www.facebook.com/events/543935138977020/

“Negotiators at Lambeth met with management yesterday. The number of potential compulsory redundancies is down to 5 for teaching staff and 4 for support staff. The threat of strike action has also brought back talks over the new PDR (appraisal policy) in which teachers are to be graded.

In order to reflect this movement, we will now be taking action tomorrow from 12 till 2pm. There will be a rally outside Clapham at 12.45pm, for all UCU members, where we will assemble in front of the college to highlight our demands for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies and for a written guarantee that the new PDR will not be imposed and the old system will be used while talks continue.

Our position remains very clear. The branch took action to defend jobs and secure NO compulsory redundancies. Management have made huge savings already and will make future savings year on year by the loss of the 35 jobs which have gone. The total amount saved is over £1 million a year. It is now in their gift to agree to give us a guarantee for the few potential Compulsory Redundancies that are left.”

Congratulations to the unions at Lambeth College for getting an article on their fight against cuts in the Lambeth Weekender
Weekender UCU

The staff at Lambeth College will be on strike this Thursday. Please visit their picket lines to show your support

Support the Strike at Lambeth College

Posted: June 30, 2013 by rabidleftwinger in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!
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UPDATE: Management have now made some concessions so the early morning picket is cancelled. There is now a lunch time picket only. Full details here

Lambeth College are on strike this Thursday as part of their campaign against cuts. They would very much welcome visits to the picket lines on Thursday 4th July from 8.00 am:

  • Brixton Centre: 56 Brixton Hill SW2 1QS
  • Clapham Centre: 45 Clapham Common Southside SW4 9BL
  • Vauxhall Centre: Belmore St, Wandsworth Road, SW8 2JY
  • Lambeth College students and staff have been very supportive of Lambeth SOS campaigns in the past. Please support them in their campaign against cuts