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Union calls on Redbridge Institute of Adult Education to end the use of fire and rehire and to pay staff what they deserve

8 May 2024

Members of ʵ at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education in East London have today called on the Institute to improve working conditions.

The union is calling for management at the Institute, which is run by Redbridge Council, to agree to: 

  • a cost-of-living increase of £2,226 (pro rata for part-time staff), backdated to 1 September 2023 

  • allow hourly paid tutors conversion to move to full time/fractional contracts 

  • immediately end the use of gig-economy style casual worker agreements (where staff have contracts for services not contracts of employment) for new tutors and learning support assistants 

  • maintain existing pension arrangements for all learning support assistants rather than moving staff onto different schemes 

Whilst the employer withdrew its plans to force existing hourly paid staff onto casual 'worker' contracts of the sort used in the gig-economy, via a 'fire and rehire' process, following a previous strike ballot in December 2023, they have been using these contracts for new hourly paid staff since 2022, without informing trade unions, thus creating a two-tier workforce within the Institute.  

Staff plan to protest outside the Institute soon and will ballot for strike action again if no progress is made. 

ʵ regional official Adam Lincoln said: 'Staff dedicate their lives to improving opportunities for local people in Redbridge and deserve an employer that really cares about its workforce. It is time that the Institute took issues such as low pay, zero hours employment contracts, disreputable gig-economy style casual worker contracts, and pensions seriously. Industrial action is the last thing that staff want to see but the employer will force us to ballot for a second time if it does not take the reasonable demands of staff seriously. We also call on Redbridge Council to use its best endeavours to see an end to the use of fire and rehire, casual worker contracts and zero hours contracts at the Institute.' 

Last updated: 8 May 2024