Tower Hamlets college lecturers strike this-morning over cuts

HUNDREDS of college lecturers begin their indefinite strike in East London this-morning. They start picketing Tower Hamlets college campuses in Poplar, Stepney and Bethnal Green from 7.30am

By Mike Brooke

HUNDREDS of college lecturers begin their indefinite strike in East London this-morning (Thurs).

They start picketing Tower Hamlets college campuses in Poplar, Stepney and Bethnal Green from 7.30am.

It follows the breakdown of yesterday’s talks with the college after four hours over scrapping 13 posts which the UCU lecturers’ union says will mean cuts to adult English classes for speakers of foreign languages in one of Britain’s poorest areas.

The strike has been targeted to coincide with the first day of enrolment at the college.

Funding cuts mean around 1,000 places on the language courses are at risk, with 13 lecturers facing losing their jobs and many thousands of people in Tower Hamlets losing the chance to learn English.

Around 2,000 students were due to enrol in the language courses by next week.

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The Government’s Learning & Skills Council has reduced the overall college funding by almost �1 million over the last three years.

The pickets are outside the main college building in Poplar High Street as well as Arbour Square in Stepney and at Bethnal Green.