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Strikes on tomorrow and Wednesday at five colleges across the North East

8 January 2024

UCU has confirmed staff at five colleges in Cleveland, Redcar and Stockton-on-Tees will strike tomorrow and Wednesday in a long-running dispute over low pay.

The strikes are going ahead at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy, and Redcar and Cleveland College after employer body the Education Training Collective (ETC) refused to make an improved offer on pay.    

Staff will be on picket lines on both days of strike action from 7.30am to 9.30am. Tomorrow's picket line will be at Redcar and Cleveland College and Wednesday's picket line will be at Stockton Riverside College.

UCU members at the colleges have overwhelmingly rejected an offer of 3% for 22/23, and have also voted to reject a further offer of an additional 1% - which was only to be paid for three months of that financial year. Staff have already taken four days of strike action since November (2023), but ETC has responded by offering two "wellbeing days" and nothing on pay.

ETC has over £4m cash in the bank, and in 2022 its principal was paid over £300k, but it is trying to recruit staff for less than £23k. Since the ballot has started ETC has also been provided with unexpected and additional local funding, which UCU believes should be used to end this dispute. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'Our members are striking because college bosses have the money to pay staff fairly but are refusing to do so. When staff are being paid poverty wages, an extra two wellbeing days simply will not cut it. We are urging management to make a realistic offer and end the disruption.' 

Last updated: 9 January 2024