Teachers and Lecturers at Halesowen College continue the fight to reinstate their branch secretary and three fellow trade unionists who have been sacked for standing up to management. All four teachers had good teaching records but were trying to publicise the college’s failings, which include:
- refusal to pay for specialist cover (in spite of a huge surplus) for long-term sickness
- lecturers expected to teach two different classes in two different rooms at the same time
- groups being pushed together even though they are supposed to be studying different material
- non-specialist staff regularly covering maths sessions
- failure to provide teaching for students in the run-up to exams.
The campaign of support is well under way. A successful demonstration and march through the town in late January was followed by a ballot for industrial action and a re-instatement campaign. The first day of action on 14th Feb was solid and a second is planned for tomorrow– March 25th.
Target-setting has become a standard tool of management to discipline and control workers. And the abuse of targets, so discredited in NHS hospitals, is being used to threaten teachers at Halesowen. The victimisation of these union representatives has shocked the local community with the college authorities admitting that there were no disciplinary grounds for attacking these teachers. Instead they used the excuse that the standards of achievement expected of the students had not been reached, conveniently ignoring the issues raised above, that put the blame squarely at the door of the college.