Nuneaton Socialists United for Education with college staff (June 22, 2010)
Nuneaton Socialists United for Education with college staff
On Monday 21st June several members of the Nuneaton branch joined staff from North Warwickshire & Hinckley College (NWHC) in their ‘handshake march’ between the two sites. Our show of solidarity was noted and appreciated, and although it was a fairly low-key protest, we made some good contacts with staff and union reps from UNISON and UCU. They said they had worked very hard to get the 20+ people out, but that they thought more people would see the need for more militant action once the exact terms of the redundancies at the college were spelled out, and once the effects of the budget on people’s living standards became clear. However, it was clear that the union branches involved were fairly ‘genteel’ (in their own words) and had no clear idea how the ‘United for Education’ campaign would continue beyond this single event. Although there was no proper rally and we had no opportunity to address the marchers collectively with our perspective, members spoke informally to the lecturers from both sites, and sold one copy of our paper. We were able to spread the word about our People’s Day of Protest on June 30th, when we are lobbying both the local Hospital Trust and the local Council about plans to close two wards, and certainly planted the seeds for the future development of a broader anti-cuts campaign involving unions across the public sector. One union rep also raised the possibility of starting Nuneaton’s own Trade Council, an idea she had heard from another shop steward our branch has been in contact with.
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