Dave Hill, the lead NO2EU-YestoDemocracy candidate (a socialist and trade union backed party fighting the European elections nationally) this week joined the 100 strong picket line of teachers and students protesting against threatened redundancies and plans to cut pay and conditions at Park for staff.
At the 300 strong public meeting (Eastbourne Town Hall, Monday 18 May) Dave Hill said
`I am here as a Grandad. My grandson Josh Akehurst is currently taking his A levels at Park College. I don’t want to see him and future students here having education on the cheap, with teachers on inferior pay and conditions.’
`I am also here as a member of the Universities and Colleges Union, UCU, and as a former regional chair of the lecturers’ union, offering our solidarity in this struggle to protect pay and conditions- and the quality of education for our young people’.
`The kids here, and in future years, want to go to University. I am a Professor of Education. At my university and at most others up and down the country, we are also threatened with redundancies and cuts- cuts in staffing and in the quality of education’.
`These attacks on our pay and conditions are part of a broader attack on workers and on public services- attacks across the whole range of public services’.
`While MPs are pillaging the system, and fat cat bankers and bosses are on the gravy train, it’s the workers and public services that are being cut –to pay for the bankers’ bailout’.
`The turnout at this meeting, organised by the teacher unions, - of 300 students, parents, teachers and school support staff- is magnificent- people standing up for public services. We need thousands of protest meetings like this up and down the country, to combat these attacks- to improve public services- not chop them’.
`I am also here as the lead candidate for the NO2EU-YestoDemocracy campaign fighting the European Elections. We are fighting against the EU’s privatisation directives, we are fighting to defend- and extend- public services’.
NOTE: The College is seeking to move away from employing staff on nationally agreed teachers’ contracts and onto its own `in-house’ contracts, paying lower rates. On BBC South East Today, Sussex Downs (the umbrella college of which Park is part) Principal sought to defend his 20% pay rise (bringing it to £168,000). See www.keepitpark.com for the campaign website