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Furness College staff to strike over low pay

23 November 2022

UCU has today announced three days of strike action at Furness College.

Staff will walkout on Tuesday 6 December, Wednesday 7 December and Thursday 15 December following the results of the ballot in which 85% of those who voted said yes to strike action. 

Members will also be engaging in action short of strike action from 8 December until 13 May 2023, this could include not doing additional work or covering for absent colleagues. 

The action come after the employer offered a pay award of just 2.5% alongside a one off payment of £750 for those earning less than £25k and £500 for those who earn more. RPI is currently at 14.2% so the award means staff pay has fallen dramatically behind inflation. 

UCU is demanding an increase of at least 10% to help staff meet the cost-of-living crisis. Staff at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, recently won a deal worth 9.2% for the majority of college lecturers. 
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. 

UCU regional official Iain Owens said: 'Industrial action is a last resort. Our members strive to deliver high quality of teaching and learning and are dedicated to their student's progress.  However, despite negotiations, and recommendations of bringing in professional bodies such as ACAS, management has failed to make a fair offer.  Furness College's paltry 2.5% offer is nothing short of a slap in the face. Years of below inflation pay awards have left our members financially insecure, now inflation is soaring and our members are being pushed into poverty. Management needs to come back to us with a realistic offer or face disruption throughout December'. 

Last updated: 25 November 2022