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Two new strike dates at North East college group in low pay dispute

4 March 2024

Staff at five colleges in Cleveland, Redcar and Stockton-on-Tees will strike on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March.

The strikes come after an overwhelming 79.3% of UCU members at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Redcar and Cleveland College who voted, rejected the latest pay offer from employer Education Training Collective (ETC). Turnout was 64%.

UCU also confirmed it will open a new strike ballot on Wednesday (6 March) that will run until Monday 15 April so it can continue to take industrial action if ETC refuses to settle the dispute. A successful ballot will allow the union to take strike action for a further six months.

The dispute is over the 22/23 pay award. ETC's most recent offer did not include any improvement on pay and was limited to an extra two "wellbeing days" and additional points on the lecturer and course leader pay scales starting on Thursday 1 August 2024. ETC's position on pay remains that it wants staff to accept a paltry increase of just 3% for 22/23, with an additional 1% from May 2023.

UCU regional support official Chris Robinson said: 'Since we won our original strike ballot last September management has not put one extra penny on the table to resolve this dispute. If ETC is really serious about ending this dispute, it will get back around the table and put up a serious offer. If it fails to do so the college group will face further disruption.'

Last updated: 5 March 2024