Running on a losing FE ticket

March 17, 1995

Fawzi Ibrahim does his colleagues in further education no favours by referring to slave contracts and slave-owning employers (THES, March 3).

He insults the suffering of millions of people worldwide who do live in conditions of slavery, indentured to their employers, bound by life-long debts, or the knowledge that they and their children would starve without the meagre rewards of their labours. To compare even the worst conditions of FE lecturers in England and Wales to this is untrue and offensive.

Lecturers have the right and duty to defend conditions of work. Exhausted teachers cannot provide high quality education. With the planned expansion in FE, access for large number of students who previously would not have had opportunities is now possible - but these are not the most learning-wise of students. They need to be inducted into what being a student means, and encouraged. No easy task when you yourself are demoralised.

It is ironic that Mr Ibrahim should be standing for election as president (via the post of vice president) in the union when he was part of the executive grouping that stalled negotiations early in the dispute, insists on an approach to negotiations through inflexible positions and refuses to seek the assistance of the Arbitration and Conciliation Service in conciliating this dispute.

No doubt he intends to lead us over the barricades to victory. Now where have we seen these tactics before?

Vicky Seddon

National executive


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