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Staff strike at Askham Bryan College in pay row

15 June 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Askham Bryan College will be brought to a standstill on 16 June in a row over its failure to honour a pay deal agreed over four years ago.

Classes will be cancelled and protests will be held by members of the UCU from 7.30am outside the main entrance to the campus.

The ground-breaking national pay deal, thrashed out in 2004, should have a left a mid-ranking further education lecturer earning £4,511 more a year. The union has described the failure by colleges still to honour the deal as one of the longest IOUs from management to staff in the history of industrial relations.

UCU regional organiser for Yorkshire and Humberside, John Giddins, said: 'None of our members at Askham Bryan want to see industrial action. We have repeatedly asked the college to sit down with us and discuss ways to resolve the issue and avoid unnecessary disruption, but they have refused to enter into meaningful discussions and reneged upon earlier promises.'

UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: 'It's a real shame that things have come to this. The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking for the money they should have been paid four years ago. It is the intransigence of Askham Bryan College that has pushed members' patience too far and forced them into industrial action.'

In 2003/4, a two-year national agreement was drawn up that heralded pay parity for college lecturers with schoolteachers. Thousands of further education lecturers had been unable to reach the higher pay levels enjoyed by schoolteachers, 50% of whom get extra allowances worth between £2,364 and £11,557per annum on top of their basic earnings. The deal introduced shorter new scales that provided higher salaries for new lecturers and faster progression to the top points.