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UCU strike harrogate

UCU pickets and supporters at Harrogate College – photo Iain Dalton

UCU members at Harrogate College took strike action, co-ordinated with their colleagues in the Hull College Group at Hull College, against proposals to axe jobs at the college. Wednesday 9th May, was the first strike day with two more to follow next week.

Iain Dalton, North Yorkshire Socialist Party Organiser

Many staff members are worried that the college will be spun off yet again, after being passed from Leeds Met (now Leeds Beckett) to Hull College Group several years ago, with the campus now reduced in size. So far management have produced no timetable for how or when they are going to implement the proposed cuts in Harrigate.

The strike action was taken in the face of a hostile management who are seeking to undermine the campaign against the cuts in various ways. Students who are backing the strike have been told to delete social media posts and, like at Hull College during their protest against the cuts, subsidised ice cream and pizza was made available in the college on the strike day.

The strike received strong support from students with many joining the picket lines to support their lecturers and lots signing petitions against the cuts. Local Socialist Party and Labour Party members also came down to join the pickets.

UCU members were pleased with the support they received, including visits from local Unison reps who are also balloting their members for strike action. Despite the intimidation, staff are determined to fight the cuts.