16 May 2013
NUT members at Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in Highgate, Birmingham will be on strike on Tuesday 21st May against an attempt to impose new holiday dates without proper consultation. There are about 50 NUT members and we expect the strike to be solid.
We have always followed the local Authority term dates and have fought to maintain this against continued attempts to get us to start the autumn term two weeks early in August. We think it is an equal opportunities issue – staff with children at local schools want to share the same holidays as their children and students and their families want to enjoy the summer holidays together at the same time. The early start is part of ever increasing competition with other colleges to grab students. We believe that students should go to their local college or the college that suits them best and there should be no rush to enrol early.
This is the first strike action which the college has taken since opening in 1984 (other than national strikes). It comes after several years of an increasingly aggressive management style which has pushed staff to the point where they are prepared to take action. We feel that if we do not stop this attack on our conditions than worse will follow – next Tuesday will be the first of a number of strikes until we force the principal to back down.
There will be a picket line from 8am – come and join us if you can.
Messages of support can be sent to the NUT rep: Bridget Parsons c/o firstname.lastname@example.org