By Ed Whitby, Newcastle Unison (pc)
On 16 November, in the run up to the massive public sector strike, Newcastle college students mobilised to get their student union to vote to not only to support the strike, but to call a college student strike for the day.
They also agreed to organise a public meeting with trade union speakers to call on students to strike alongside lecturers and support staff on the day.
But the meeting, planned for 22 November, was then banned by college management. It has had to take place off college premises. Effectively the management at the college has banned trade union activity and student union activity at the college.
The Chief Executive of the college, Jackie Fisher, who is on £300,000 a year, sees the college as a private business to make money rather than promote learning.
Students across all colleges and universities are organising now to build the strike and to make sure that we challenge the college to respect the independence of the student union.