Who are the culprits of FE's troubles?;Letter

6th March 1998 at 00:00
Lecturers at Southwark College are turning to The TES each week with increasing incredulity as we read the latest thoughts of Dorothy Jones (FE Focus, February 6 and 27) and Margaret Morgan (FE Focus, February 20). Can these persons really be the same Dorothy Jones who is our principal and Margaret Morgan who is our chair of governors.

In FE Focus we read about two people apparently determined to see a sharp break with the college employers' practice, following the departure of Roger Ward. Yet Southwark College has implemented all of Ward's key policies - not least the imposition of his favoured part-timers' agency, ELS.

The bitterness illustrated in our 10-week strike last summer was in part fuelled by our resistance to ELS.

This academic year, NATFHE has collected a dossier of complaints about ELS. These range from evidence of students' anger over lowered educational standards, to excellent part-time staff totally demoralised because they have been forced to work for ELS.

Staff attitudes to the college management were expressed recently in a staff-governor election. The NATFHE member won the vote 82-22. Here is part of his manifesto: "I wish to make it clear that teachers are demoralised and resentful and have no confidence in the current management I I am disgusted by the climate of victimisation: in particular I wish Andrea and Dave (two union activists sacked after the strike) every success in taking the college to industrial tribunal...the compensation they will undoubtedly receive should come directly from the pockets of the real culprits."

JOHN ROSE and four other members of NATFHE co-ordinating committee

Southwark College Waterloo Centre London SE1

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