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Staff strike ballot at Sunderland College over £10,000 pay cuts

30 April 2012

UCU today announced that members at Sunderland College will be balloted for strike action in a row over pay. The ballot will close on Friday 18 May.

The college intends to cut the salaries of more than 150 lecturers by £10,000 and downgrade 70% of its teaching workforce to inferior pay grades.
The move breaches nationally-agreed paid scales and will leave Sunderland College staff paid far less than lecturers elsewhere and around £8,000 less than the average UK full-time worker.*
The union accused the college of trying to deliver teaching on the cheap and using the current funding difficulties in further education as an excuse to cut staff pay.
UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'Nobody is blind to the funding challenges facing further education at the moment but there is no excuse for cutting pay in this way. The college's actions are completely disproportionate and seem little more than an attempt to deliver teaching on the cheap.
'Instead of breaching nationally agreed pay scales and slashing staff pay the college should be looking to work with us. These punitive plans will deter the best and brightest from wanting to come and work at Sunderland College as they will be paid far less than the national average. We have been left with no choice but to ballot for strike action.'

* According to the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE) from the Office for National Statistics the full-time mean average annual pay (2011) for a further education teaching professional was £35,216 and for all full-time professionals £32,837. Sunderland College intends to reduce annual full-time salaries to £24,786.

Last updated: 21 June 2019