UCU strikers in Harrogate, 9.5.18, photo by Iain Dalton

UCU strikers in Harrogate, 9.5.18, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Iain Dalton, North Yorkshire Socialist Party Organiser

University and College Union (UCU) members at Harrogate College took strike action, coordinated with their colleagues in the Hull College Group at Hull College, against proposals to axe jobs. 9 May was the first strike day, with two more to follow.

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

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.