4 December 2014
Ayrshire College EIS members at Kilwinning Campus have embarked on a strike to defend their contracts. They are now balloting across the College over the suspension of their Branch Secretary, Ian Cochrane. The EIS emergency committee has waived the need for an indicative ballot because the victimisation is such a provocative act.
There was unanimous support from the EIS-FELA Executive, plus protest at this victimisation and another equally flimsy one at Forth Valley College, where management has introduced a new concept to the world of industrial relations, an ‘informal, non-disciplinary suspension.’
These are examples of union busting managements attempting to behead these union branches by corporate bullying. Forth Valley management issued a written howl of anguish (ironically far beyond the EIS members) that ‘confidentiality’ had been breached by reps calling emergency campus meetings on 3 December, in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk. Did they really think they could suspend the Branch Convenor Robert Addie, under a cloak of darkness, and no-one would inform the membership?
Around 60% of the total branch membership turned out at short notice with standing room only in Falkirk. They passed a motion of protest at this suspension, calling on the EIS to organise an immediate statutory ballot for strike action to achieve the lifting of the suspension of their Convenor.
Please send messages of support to Ayrshire EIS Branch and wish them well in their strike ballot which has just opened and to Forth Valley College EIS Branch by writing to Ayrshire EIS Acting Branch Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Forth Valley EIS Branch Secretary (email@example.com) respectively. You can also ask for the victimised reps Ian and Robert, to speak at your trade union or community meetings to learn more.
It is really good that these suspensions have been seen for what they are, management attempts to do an Ineos in Further Education, to try to behead the union branches to destroy members’ confidence. This time, with help from Unite the Resistance supporters and the EIS, management will not get away with it.
Talking of Ineos:
There is an Anti Fracking demonstration in Grangemouth, this Sunday 7 December at 2pm, Bo’ness Rd (the one that cuts Ineos in half.) Please support this if you can. Here’s the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/930326416995422/936612886366775/?notif_t=like
Unite the Resistance.