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New round of strike action set to go ahead at five North East colleges

28 November 2023

UCU today announced three new days of strike action at up to five colleges in Cleveland, Redcar and Stockton on Tees in a long running dispute over low pay.

The first strike in this round will take place on Wednesday 13 December if UCU does not receive an improved pay offer.  

Further strikes are also set to go ahead on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 January 2024 at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Redcar and Cleveland College. All the colleges are part of employer group the Education Training Collective (ETC).   

The new strikes come after management refused to make an improved offer despite staff striking for three days earlier this month. At the start of this year, UCU members at the colleges overwhelmingly rejected an offer of 3% for 22/23, and then also voted to reject a further offer of an additional 1% - which was only to be paid for three months of the financial year. 

ETC has over £4m cash in the bank, and in 2022 its principal was paid over £300k, but it is trying to recruit lecturers for less than £26k. Since the ballot has started ETC has also been provided with unexpected and additional local funding, which UCU believe should be utilised to end this dispute. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ''The employer is unwilling to put any offer on the table or negotiate in good faith, preferring instead to escalate the dispute. Our members are left with no option other than to take further strike action. UCU once again calls on the employer to enter into negotiation and resolve this in the best interests of all parties and prevent further disruption to the colleges.' 

Last updated: 28 November 2023