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Strike date set at 11 further education colleges in pay row

23 January 2009

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Eleven colleges across the country will be brought to a standstill on Thursday 5 February in a row over their failure to honour a pay deal agreed over four years ago.

UCU today announced the strike date following a ballot of members in the 11 'IOU' colleges, which resulted in a clear mandate for industrial action.

The colleges that will be hit are Nelson and Colne, Croydon, Greenwich, North West London, Dearne Valley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Evesham, Sandwell, Sussex Downs, and Askham Bryan. All 11 have categorically refused to honour a ground-breaking national pay deal, which was thrashed out in 2004. The deal should have a left a mid-ranking further education lecturer earning £4,511 more per annum.

'The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking for the money they should have been paid four years' ago.'

The union has described the failure by those colleges still to honour the 2004 deal as one of the longest IOUs from management to staff in the history of industrial relations.

UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: 'This the last chance for the IOU colleges to pay up. If they fail to get their act together now then we will be left with no option but to strike on Thursday 5 February. The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking their employers to pay them the money they should have been paid four years' ago.
 
'Nobody involved with any of the colleges wants to see industrial action and once we again ask the colleges to sit down with us and discuss ways to resolve the issue and avoid any unnecessary disruption. Flexible agreements have been agreed at a host of other colleges with serious financial difficulties to implement the deal. It is the intransigence of the 11 IOU colleges that has pushed members' patience too far and forced them into industrial action.'

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