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Students hit by Tower Hamlets college lecturer strike

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:50 05 October 2010

THOUSANDS of students could miss out on their classes as lecturers plan to continue their indefinite strike into the new term. Lecturers who hold a protest rally in East London on Saturday kicked-off their industrial action at three campuses of Tower Hamlets College over threats to teaching posts and 1,000 places on English courses for speakers of other languages

By Gemma Collins

THOUSANDS of students could miss out on their classes next week as lecturers plan to continue their indefinite strike into the new term.

Lecturers who hold a protest rally in East London on Saturday kicked-off their industrial action at three campuses of Tower Hamlets College last month in over threats to 13 teaching posts, along with nearly 1,000 places on English courses for speakers of other languages.

The new term starts Monday for thousands of A-level students.

But lecturers have pledged to continue their industrial action.

The main campus in Poplar High Street has been brought to a standstill. Lecturers have also being picketing at campuses in Bethnal Green and at Arbour Square in Stepney.

College bosses are blaming the Learning & Skills Council, the Government department responsible for planning and funding education and training, which they say has reduced its cash for adult places at the college by 3,000 in the last three years.

Principal Michael Farley insists: "Strike at this economically-sensitive time could have a severe and detrimental impact, threatening the future viability and long-term reputation of the college."

But the UCU lecturers' union insists it will fight to stop the cuts. Their Tower Hamlets branch secretary Richard McEwan said: "We want the college to challenge the Government policy as it just can't cut places."

Hundreds of protesters are expected for Saturday's rally in Whitechapel's Altab Ali Park at 2pm, when MP George Galloway plans to address the striking lecturers.


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