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Strikes loom as Sheffield College staff reject derisory pay offer

22 March 2023

Staff at Sheffield College have overwhelmingly voted to reject a derisory 3.5% pay offer for 2023/24.

Staff were consulted on the offer in an e-ballot. Turnout was over 50% and more than 81% of those who voted said they would not accept it.

Staff have already taken four days of strike action this year over the college's 2022/23 pay offer of just 2.5% after winning a strike ballot. The union paused strike action to enter into Acas mediated talks with the employer but were only offered an additional £100 one off payment. UCU's ballot result means it is able to call further action.

The college has more than £90m in reserves with over £14m cash in the bank. UCU is demanding a pay rise of 4.5% for 23/24, which would cost the college just £1.6m.

A UCU report 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.

UCU regional support official Allie Anderson said: 'Staff at Sheffield College are struggling to put food on the table yet management wants to force year after year of real term pay cuts onto them whilst hoarding millions in the bank. Staff pay demands are more than reasonable and would cost a small proportion of the college's millions. The employer can either come back to the table with a realistic offer or face more strike action. The ball is squarely in its court.'

Last updated: 28 April 2023