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City College Norwich staff to strike over huge real terms pay cut

6 March 2023

Staff at City College Norwich will strike on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March over a huge real terms pay cut.

The announcement comes after an overwhelming 88% of UCU members who voted said yes to strike action in an industrial ballot. Turnout was an incredible 73%. 

In January City College imposed a pay award so low it ended the college's accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer. The lowest paid received an increase of just 5.1%, college lecturers were awarded a paltry 4% and other staff only 2.5%. Since 2009 pay for college staff has fallen behind inflation by 35%, which is now 13.4%. UCU is demanding a 14% pay rise to help staff meet the cost-of-living crisis. 

The college claims it "is a great place to work". Accounts for the college group show it holds over £16m in cash and has over £54m in reserves. A UCU report that shows the vast majority of English 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 City College Norwich branch chair David Hunter said: 'Further education staff have already suffered a 35% real terms pay cut over the past dozen years. Yet in the face of the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, City College Norwich management has abandoned its commitment to paying the real living wage and implemented a pay offer far below the rate of inflation. This is another real terms pay cut that will see staff even worse off. Despite City College having £16m in cash, lower-paid staff are set to become minimum wage employees.  

'Management has refused to give staff a fair deal despite our efforts during negotiations. With food and fuel prices rocketing our members have no option but to continue their fight for a fair pay rise in the only way left to them - by taking strike action.' 

Last updated: 6 March 2023