Mr Ruddiman seems reluctant to recognise the fact that under the new arrangement for college governance there is a built-in majority of representation from industry. This is such a blatant disregard of democratic decision-making that it is hardly surprising that main grade lecturers feel disillusioned. Even where there are non-industrial representatives on the board they are often unwilling to rock the boat -an unfortunate parallel with many bodies in the public sector under the present Tory Government.
The lack of willingness by many college principals to move away from the CEF stance on contracts is frustrating to Silver Book staff, especially when some colleges are able to offer an acceptable compromise.
A good example in the north-west region is that of Stockport College, which has offered a very reasonable contract to teaching staff that manages to embrace change and the need for flexibility with a recognition that we are human beings rather than teaching (and administration) machines.
Yes, we do need to form a partnership to move forward, but only when college principals are prepared to start on a level playing field.
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