Picket lines, literally drawn on the pavement outside the college entrances at the Technology and Park Lane sites, were mounted by UCU and Unison members at Leeds City College as part of a historic first national joint strike of UCU and Unison in Further Education.
Manny Dominguez & Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party
The mood was strong amongst striking union members who assembled from 7am. Strikers at the Technology campusjoined their colleagues at the main Park Lane site at around 10.am.
The strike, in opposition to the Association of Colleges 0% pay rise offer, saw good support for those taking the action from members of the public on their way to work and students, including Socialist Students members and local City Council shop stewards. Many drivers pipped their horns in support also.
It was important that we had conversations with the students who had never experienced what a picket line is and explained why it was necessary to take this action. Some of them joined us when we said that this was not just about pay but the quality and privatisation of their education.
It is important that another date for action is called for, and that it should be joined by Junior Doctors, Health and Local Government unions for greater impact.