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Two-day strike at Barnsley College in row over contracts

24 November 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU members at Barnsley College will be on strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week (26 and 27 November) in a row over new contracts.

Union members will be on picket lines outside the main Old Mill Lane campus from 7am on both days. UCU says changes to the contracts, as part of a restructure in the summer, have led to pay cuts, a worsening of terms and conditions, new roles for teaching staff and performance-related pay for some A-level teachers.

The college wants new staff and those facing future restructures to take up the inferior contracts. The union argues that new and restructured staff could see their pay slashed by as much as £6,000 a year, while others face losing 10 days' annual leave.

The union says the college's moves will lead to a two-tier workforce as the college downgrades current staff or employs new staff on inferior terms in an effort to try and squeeze more for less out of lecturers.

The strike action coincides with an open evening on Wednesday night. Staff walked out for one day last month and say they have little choice but to escalate their action after the college refused to budge on its plans to implement the new contracts.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'Staff at Barnsley College are not prepared to stand by while the college tries to ruin their terms and conditions.  Nobody wants to take strike action, but the college's refusal to negotiate with us in good faith has left us with no alternative.

'This is an unashamed effort by the college to try and squeeze more out of staff for less. New staff will be forced onto inferior terms and those already employed face seeing their jobs downgraded and their pay and holiday entitlement slashed.'

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