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Colleges across the North West of England facing industrial action following successful strike ballots

12 April 2022

Six colleges across the North West England could see industrial action in the coming weeks and months following following successful statutory industrial action ballots from UCU members.

Staff at Burnley College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, City of Liverpool College, Nelson & Colne College and Oldham College have voted to say that they are prepared to take industrial action and members at all six colleges will now prepare for strikes unless employers agree to negotiate a settlement.  

UCU says college leaders must act now if they want to avoid the disruption of strike action, which will otherwise impact up to 40k students.  

The union is demanding the colleges increase pay by at least 8.5% to meet the cost of living crisis. Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35% and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9k.  

In 2021, the Westminster government announced an 8.4% increase in funding targeted at those in England aged 16-17 years old, the biggest rise in funding for further education in more than decade and coming after £240m in additional funding announced in 2018.  

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said 'Following the repeated refusal of employers to give staff a proper pay rise we were left with no choice but to ballot for strike action. The results at these six colleges show the strength of feeling amongst staff and we encourage employers to listen. Colleges can afford to pay staff more and leaders now need to do the right thing and give staff a decent pay rise or face strike action across the region.' 

Last updated: 12 April 2022