College of North West London staff prepare to strike over suspended colleague
PUBLISHED: 13:10 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:10 22 February 2017
Staff at a Brent college are striking over the suspension of a colleague.
College of North West London staff members will be on picket lines outside the main entrances to the two campuses on Denzil Road in Willesden and Wembley Park Road in Wembley from 9am tomorrow.
Indro Sen, a maths teacher and University and College Union branch secretary, was suspended in October while representing a former CNWL employee in a personal capacity at an employment tribunal.
The college says that Mr Sen did not have time off to attend the hearing and that representing his co-worker amounted to gross misconduct.
In response the union has said that it believes the college is using this as an opportunity to sack Mr Sen for his trade union activities.
"“I am very worried about my students as GCSEs are fast approaching and this is usually the time I put in a lot of extra classes for them.”"
UCU members at the college overwhelmingly backed strike action in January with 95 per cent voting for the strike in a ballot.
Una O’Brien, UCU’s regional officer, said: “Industrial action is always a last resort and we remain open to negotiations to try to resolve the dispute but, following the continued suspension of Mr Sen, members have been left with no option but to take strike action.”
There is also a public meeting in support of Mr Sen at Willesden Library at 6pm on Friday.
Mr Sen said: “I am very grateful and deeply indebted to my college union branch members, colleagues, my national and regional union, in particular the regional office and London region universities, my students, who continue to support me in these difficult times by sending messages of support, and to those sacrificing their pay in these hard times by taking strike action.
“I am very worried about my students as GCSEs are fast approaching and this is usually the time I put in a lot of extra classes for them.”
A College of North West London spokesperson said: “Mr Sen has been suspended as a result of an ongoing disciplinary investigation.
“We do not comment on such matters while they are taking place.
“However, the college rejects any suggestion that Mr Sen has been suspended for anything other than the disciplinary investigation.
“The college will be doing everything possible to minimise disruption to learners.”