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Strikers give wheel-clampers the squeeze

A college's decision to introduce courses for wheel-clampers while other key courses are being axed caused fury this week.

Hackney community college in east London staged a one-day strike last Thursday against plans to make 55 to 60 staff redundant.

Lecturers' union Natfhe says the courses hit include adult and community learning, British sign language and teacher training.

Richard Payne, the college's Natfhe officer, said: "While courses of little or no social value are being rolled out, ones of great benefit are being axed because they do not make enough money."

Several strikes have taken place in the past week. Three London colleges staged walkouts over failure to reach agreement on the national pay deal.

Staff at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London college took action on Tuesday, and Lambeth and Stanmore colleges on Wednesday.

Action due to take place at 12 other London colleges this week was suspended as talks neared agreement on pay.

A strike at Bradford college in West Yorkshire, due to begin next Tuesday, was called off when management pledged to avoid 66 compulsory job losses and offered a better deal on pay.

Natfhe said 22 per cent of the 280 colleges have now settled on the national deal, and it is hopeful that the figure will rise to 40 per cent within weeks.

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