Lecturers’ strike – eye-witness account

Pauline Atienza of Cardiff PR, secretary of Wales UCU FE section, sent the following report from today’s action:

“I have just returned from a very successful lobby at the Senedd. About 250 lecturers from colleges across Wales were at the lobby having left their comrades on the picket lines at the colleges. The strike is solid across the country.

At Rhondda college pickets discovered that there was a police training event happening. Two uniformed police officers agreed not to cross the picket line! Their inspector was not happy!

At another college one of the managers was so infuriated by the picket line that he drove off in a huff and crashed his car into another vehicle. That will be an interesting insurance claim!

This has been a good start to the action. Pressure on fforwm (the principals’ organisation) and the college principals will be maintained through refusal to participate in any work which relates to ‘quality’. This is an area crucial to college managers in their claims for funding. Hopefully college managements across Wales will recognise that they cannot get away with destroying the all-Wales pay agreement and will finally honour the deal.

Even Deputy Minster for Skills John Griffiths addressed the gathering and expressed the WAG’s commitment to the all-Wales pay agreement which principals are trying hard to scupper.

One thing is for sure. We are ready to take further strike action if management continue to renege on the agreement.”

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