Strikes at seven colleges today in row over pay and conditions

27 March 2018

UCU members are on strike at seven colleges as part of a second wave of strike action from in an ongoing row over pay and conditions.

Staff at six London colleges and Sandwell College in the West Midlands are on strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (127-29 March), with exception of Havering College where members are on strike for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday. The colleges affected are:

City and Islington College

College of haringey and North East London

Westminster Kingsway College

Croydon College

Lambeth College

Sandwell College

Havering College

The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1% from the employers' representative, the Association of Colleges, in September. UCU said the below-inflation offer failed to address the years of pay suppression which further education staff have endured. In the strike ballot, 91% of staff at affected colleges voted for strike action. The average turnout was 63%. 

The union says staff in further education colleges in England have seen their pay drop by 24% in real-terms since 2009. While the cost of living, expressed through the Retail Price Index (RPI), had increased by 27.6% since 2009, pay had gone up by only 4%.

This means that staff have suffered a real-terms drop of 23.6% in their pay. College staff have fared even worse than public sector employees who have received a 6.3% increase since 2009 - a real-terms drop of 21.3%.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'UCU members are striking in defence of their pay and conditions. Strike action is a last resort, but staff feel they have been left with no alternative. The colleges urgently need to address members' concerns or face further industrial action.'

 

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