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Four days of strikes at Kirklees College over 'derisory' 1% pay award

5 May 2023

Staff at Kirklees College in Huddersfield and Dewsbury begin four days of strike action next week over a 'derisory' pay award of just 1%, UCU announced today.

Staff will be on strike on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 May and will be picketing main entrances from 8am. Strikes are also set to go ahead on Monday 5 and Wednesday 7 June unless the college makes an improved offer.

The strike follows an overwhelming 94% of UCU members who voted backing strike action, on a turnout of 54%.

The dispute centres on an imposed 1% consolidated pay award for 2022/23. The college has now also imposed a 2.5% consolidated pay award, plus a move in scales at the top of the pay bands for lecturers and scarce skills lecturers, for 2023/24. The college's financial accounts show the college has over £10m cash in the bank, yet the employer chose to impose an insulting 1% consolidated pay award for a year when inflation hit 14%. Inflation is currently 13.4% and some staff at the college have told UCU they can no longer afford to travel to work because of the soaring costs of fuel, that they are making difficult choices regarding 'heating or eating', along with harrowing stories of members skipping meals or visiting food banks to help make ends meet.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: 'We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, yet our members are being forced out onto picket lines to fight for fair pay. It is simply scandalous that Kirklees College is pushing its employees into poverty by holding down their pay with year after year of swingeing real term pay cuts.'

'Staff went above and beyond, putting themselves at great risk, throughout the Covid pandemic to support and teach students. The college needs to come back with an offer that recognises the incredible work they have done to protect student learning throughout the pandemic and helps them meet soaring household costs or it will face continued disruption.'

Last updated: 5 May 2023