This week it was my pleasure to address striking workers at Hull City College. Members of the UCU Union were on the picket line over a pay offer that had been reneged on by the management as well as unfair and unwarranted observation procedures that could take place at a minutes notice, putting excess stress on workers who will rightly care about their jobs at a time of cuts to services.
Imagine my surprise to have received a veiled threat from Hull College Chief Executive, Gary Warke, who took it upon himself to accuse me of making political capital out of an issue which matters a lot to my constituents.
You can see Gary’s letter to me below.
Whilst Mr Warke may feel that he can bully and intimidate his staff at Hull City College, he cannot do it to me, an elected Member of Parliament. He might pay himself more than the Prime Minister whilst his staff are effectively on pay freezes, but not even the Prime Minister would dare to use threats on an elected MP. My constituents have a right to be represented, and that is what I did for them. I feel that as a result of Mr Warke’s unwarranted letter, I have had no choice but to take action and call for an investigation by the Chair of Governor’s. You can see my responses below.
I wrote to the Chair of Governors as you can see below.
The strike action was backed by an overwhelming majority, with 85% of members voting for strike action and a massive 95% voting for action short of a strike. This is a huge mandate for action and I feel it is my duty as a constituency MP to attend any such strike and support the actions of my constituents. As a Labour MP, I will always support worker’s rights, and I am proud to have been joined this week by Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party who gave his support to the campaign.