Brighton and Hove colleges hit by strike action

Posted On 17 Oct 2019 at 10:45 am

The picket at BHASVIC. Picture from the NEU

Two Brighton and Hove colleges have been hit by strike action today as staff walk out in protest at government underfunding of the sixth form sector.

Picket lines are in place at BHASVIC and Varndean College, where striking staff have been joined by city councillors from both the Labour and Green parties.

BHASVIC has closed for the day, but Brighton and Hove News understands a handful of staff at Varndean College have come into work and some lessons are continuing.

The picket at Varndean. Picture from the NEU

The strike is the first of three one-day national walkouts called by the National Education Union in response to under-inflation pay rises, increased workloads and rising class sizes.

Councillor Hannah Clare, Green spokesperson for Children, Young People and Skills Committee, commented: “The Conservative Government must address the challenges our post-16 providers face, for the welfare of staff and students alike. We believe fairly paid staff with a good work-life balance give students the education they deserve.

“We stand in full solidarity with staff at BHASVIC and Varndean in achieving their demands – which are desperately needed to save the sector.”

A statement on the BHASVIC website posted yesterday states that lessons are likely to be suspended today. Varndean College refused to say today whether it was closed or make any comment.

Further action may take place on Tuesday, 5 November and Wednesday, 20 November.

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