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Staff strike at Croydon College in pay row

20 May 2009

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Croydon College will be brought to a standstill on 20 May in a row over its failure to honour a pay deal agreed over four years ago.

Classes will be cancelled and protests will be held by members of UCU from 8am to 10am outside the Fairfield Building.
The strike is the second at the college this year in an ongoing pay row, following a day's strike back in February. UCU has described the failure by Croydon College to honour the deal as one of the longest IOUs from management to staff in the history of industrial relations.
The ground-breaking national pay deal, thrashed out in 2004, should have a left a mid-ranking further education lecturer earning £4,511 more a year. The union said today that its members were not being greedy, just asking to be paid what they were owed, and vowed to keep up the action until the matter was resolved.
Mark El–Kadhi, a UCU member who teaches at the college, said: 'Nobody involved with Croydon College wants to see industrial action. We have repeatedly asked the college to sit down with us and discuss ways to resolve the issue and avoid any unnecessary disruption. Today's disruption is bad for staff, bad for students and bad for the college. The management has to come back to us and sort this out.'

UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: 'The college only has itself to blame for today's disruption. The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking for the money they should have been paid four years ago. Make no mistake, it is the actions of Croydon College that have pushed members' patience too far and forced them into today's industrial action.'
In 2003-04, a two-year national agreement was drawn up that heralded pay parity for college lecturers with schoolteachers. Thousands of further education lecturers had been unable to reach the higher pay levels enjoyed by schoolteachers, 50% of whom get extra allowances worth between £2,364 and £11,557per annum on top of their basic earnings. The deal introduced shorter new scales that provided higher salaries for new lecturers and faster progression to the top points.

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