28 March 2014
On Thursday night local trade union members of the UCU, NUT, UNISON, local residents and community activists linked arms around Brixton college under the banner ‘Save Brixton College, No Free School’. 70% of the site has been sold off to the DFE who are giving it to at least one free school, but reports suggest possibly up to 4 free schools. The organisation setting up the main free school bid is led by Dennis Sewell, a Spectator writer who has written such articles as ‘Punish the rich, hurt everybody’ where he argues that we should not tax the rich indeed he says: ‘We need the filthy rich to feel right at home here’. This school would aim to recruit white, wealthy pupils and will harm other local schools as it competes for pupils.
The college is in financial difficulties partly because it has squandered money on projects such as a Jacuzzi and nail bar, and now, as well as selling off the site, it has launcheda massive attack on the teachers’ working conditions. The teachers have been asked to sign new contracts which will see increased working hours, a reduction of annual leave by 10 days per year, reduced sick pay, reduced redundancy notice, performance related pay and extra duties. The UCU have voted by 95% to strike and first strike is Tuesday 1st April. After that they will consider indefinite strike action. UNISON members are also balloting to strike. The campaign to save Brixton college and to support UCU members on strike has been very well supported by the community. Support the campaign on Brixton Needs A College on facebook, @BrixtonCollege and send message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org