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Teachers in the NUT held a successful 30 strong picket outside Gateway 6th Form College Leicester on Thursday 16th January. Management at Gateway College have introduced big changes to the way teachers are observed and assessed. There were no prior consultation with regard to these changes.
The changes include:
Teachers in other Leicester Colleges are not treated in the same way. For example at Queen Elizabeth 1 and Regent College, there is a maximum of two observations per year and notice is always given of which lesson will be observed.
Teachers at Gateway are angry about them being treated so unfairly and differently to other teachers. One teacher on the picket line said “College management do not understand the strength of feeling about these unfair changes”. Another NUT activist said “we have had enough and his is why we are out on strike”. She went on to say that normal channels of talking and negotiation were closed down by management and left teachers no option but to strike. She said the strike is a way of putting teachers grievances across and a clear message to management that they will not accept the changes imposed on them.
The picket line was well organised and there was a real sense of ‘enough is enough’ and solidarity between the NUT teachers.
Local NUT have operated assertively towards managements attacks. In Gateway there are 80 teachers. Before the strike there were 38 in the NUT. As the strike started this week there are now 60 in the NUT. Out of these all voted for strike action.
Teachers are set again to strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.