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Andrew Price

Educating Glamorgan’s Labour Council

(July 1985)

From Militant, No. 758, 19 July 1985, p. 15.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

THE BEST result for Labour in the whole of Britain in the May elections came in South Glamorgan. One of the main planks of the party manifesto was the policy of no compulsory redundancies, which the Labour-controlled authority had upheld between 1981 and 1985.

National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) members in South Glamorgan were therefore horrified to hear, on 9 July, that the county council intended to proceed with ten compulsory redundancies among the teachers at the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education.

Horror turned to seething anger when the full story emerged.

Labour councillors had been discussing these policies with education officials for a month without informing the college lecturer’s union. Clearly, Labour councillors believed that delaying announcements until colleges were breaking up would defuse trade union action.

The Labour councillors had, however, grossly miscalculated. Our members at the South Glamorgan Institute went on strike. On Tuesday 10 July over 150 took part in a lobby of the education committee.

To their shame the Labour councillors, to the obvious delight of the Tories, recommended that the ten redundancies take place.

On Thursday 19 July a similar number of council workers lobbied South Glamorgan Labour Party’s monthly meeting. To their credit the officers allowed any council worker who was a party member the right to attend and speak at the meeting.

An emergency resolution upholding the policy of no compulsory redundancies was passed overwhelmingly (with a number of Labour councillors abstaining).

Within 24 hours council leader Bob Morgan announced that the redundancy notices were to be withdrawn.

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Last updated: 14 November 2016