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Barnet & Southgate College

Strike over low pay set to hit Barnet & Southgate College open day

3 November 2022

Barnet and Southgate College will be hit with strike action on Wednesday 16 November, impacting the college's open day.

Staff have already taken three days of strike action in the dispute which is over management's paltry 2% pay award for the previous two financial years (1% 2020/21 and 1% 2021/2). Inflation is currently at 12.6% and UCU is demanding a significant uplift to help staff meet the cost of living crisis.

UCU said the college has two weeks to make a meaningful pay offer or its members will picket the college open day on at the High Barnet Campus on Wednesday 16 November.

This summer, UCU produced a report that shows the vast majority of college staff are financially insecure, impacting the mental health of more than eight in 10 with many being forced to skip meals and restrict hot water use to save money.  Seven in 10 said they will leave the sector unless pay and working conditions improve.

The Department for Education has announced £1.6bn in extra funding for further education and UCU estimates that colleges already have an additional £400m that is available to spend on staff compared with 2019-20. The pay of further education staff in England has fallen behind inflation by 35% since 2009 due to a series of low pay awards.

UCU regional support official Caroline Lake said: 'It is completely unacceptable for management at Barnet and Southgate College to try to get away with significantly below inflation pay rises when our members are in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

'The college urgently needs to make us a fair pay offer. If it refuses to do so then staff who would normally welcome parents and prospective students to the college open day will instead be on picket lines.'

Last updated: 3 November 2022