It's time to strike

10th June 2005 at 01:00
I have resisted the urge to strike so far, but the college where I work has reneged on a pay restructuring deal agreed with my union. It cites many plausible reasons for doing so, but lecturers cannot stand around and watch their bosses pass the buck. It is time for action. To me, this is a turning point from which I can see no way back. I am so angry with the way the sector has been treated that I have even put away cash in case any action causes me to lose pay, or even my job. I've told my partner and relatives that I would not be able to afford a family holiday - particularly disappointing for my two young sons.

There seems to be a strong case for insurgency on the horizon. You sound as if you were once a patient who is now at his wits' end. Take comfort from the fact that you will not be the only one at the college gates making demands. But don't forget that college principals must be equally frustrated - first at not being able to implement the pay deal; second at the threat of industrial action. I know what you mean about passing the buck, but in the end money comes from central government.

There is a strangely conflicting policy in the sector of raising the bar while shortening the run-up. This can only result in ill-feeling, and even industrial action.

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