The Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) express solidarity with University College Union (UCU) members at the College of North West London College (CNWL) that 5 days ago voted for strike action over a planned merger with the City of Westminster College and over the suspension of their colleague, Indro Sen.
The plans to merge CNWL with City of Westminster College were first announced back in 2013. Despite CNWL saying it was consulting staff over the merger, several staff have been made redundant since, with no guarantees over current staff jobs and no guarantees that both current campuses will stay open. Indro Sen, Branch Secretary of UCU at CNWL and a vocal critic of the merger plans, was suspended back in October 2016 whilst representing a former CNWL employee at a tribunal.
A GPTU spokesperson has said “It is obvious that the reason the colleges are merging and staff are being made redundant is because of severe cuts to further education from, firstly the coalition, and now a Conservative majority government. Sadly this is happening all across the country and shows the callousness at the way the Tories are endangering young people’s future and education for all local communities. ”
“Whilst we understand the College is in a difficult position with funding cuts, we support strike action voted for by 95% of UCU members as they are doing all they can to protect the CNWL from going under.”
To find out how you can support UCU members involved in this action, please visit their website. https://www.ucu.org.uk/
The Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) express complete solidarity and support for members of the RMT and TSSA unions having to take strike action today. Whilst this has caused a lot of disruption for commuters travelling into central London, the fact that 800 jobs in the last year have been lost (Source: TSSA) means that safety has been compromised to unacceptable levels. RMT AND TSSA union members have sadly had to take action since last night because the deal offered by TFL does not guarantee enough staffing levels to ensure a safely run tube and does not offer more staff in control rooms which are dangerously understaffed and in some cases empty.
With more than 80% of staff reportedly feeling more unsafe due to a sharp spike in abuse from passengers and a passenger survey reporting lack visibility of staff on platforms and stations (Source: TSSA), it is bizarre that London Mayor Sadiq Khan chooses to call the Strike today “Pointless”. Surely he should be focusing his attack on the government for cutting the funding that TFL is getting rather than turning his anger on staff who are doing their best in an awful situation.
A GPTU spokesperson, Lee Burkwood, said “I find it disheartening that a Labour mayor would choose to attack ordinary workers fighting for jobs and worker and customer safety. Sadiq got a lot of support from Trade Union members when he first ran to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor and this is how he repays them. Meanwhile I’m pleased to see the Green Party’s former Mayor candidate and current London AM Sian Berry express her support and solidarity with the staff. On a personal note I recently had to get help from staff at South Woodford station with a particular issue and they were absolutely brilliant yet clearly overworked as there were only two of them. So I completely empathise with many underground workers that have taken this action today.”
To find out more about why the strike is happening and what you can do to support the campaign for a TFL system that puts #SafetyFirst, please visit the RMT and TSSA websites.