Staff at 10 English colleges will be walking out tomorrow in their fight for fair pay.

The strike is the first of up to 10 days of walk outs in a wave of industrial action over pay. University and College Union (UCU) members at five of the 10 colleges will also be out on Wednesday, in a two day strike. Pickets will take place at all affected institutions from 8am.

The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1% from employer body, the Association of Colleges, in December 2020.

UCU members at three other colleges were due to walk out tomorrow but strikes have been suspended at City of Bristol College and New College Swindon after management made a late pay offer, which staff are considering. Strike action is also off at Weymouth College after staff accepted an offer from employers. UCU said that if colleges want to avoid further disruption they need to follow the lead of these colleges and get around the negotiating table.

The union is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5% in an effort to close the school-college pay gap, and after more than a decade of below inflation further education pay increases.

Staff at all affected institutions are taking action over pay, but at City & Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London the dispute also includes other issues such as working conditions.

The pay gap between college and school teachers currently stands at £9,000 as staff working in further education have suffered real terms pay cuts of over 30% in the past decade.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘College leaders are facing strike action and severe disruption because they have refused to negotiate on pay. If they want to avoid further disruption they need to follow the examples of Weymouth, Bristol and Swindon colleges and meaningfully negotiate on wages.

‘College staff are some of our most brilliant and dedicated educators, but they have seen a real terms pay cut of over 30% in the past decade. Another below inflation offer of 1% is completely unacceptable. Staff have given notice of up more days of strike action this term and will be walking out again unless they see improved pay offers. This can be resolved, but that is in the hands of employers.’

The colleges affected, strike dates and pickets are:

Employer

Strike dates

Picket

Capital City College Group

City & Islington College

College of North East London

Westminster Kingsway College

28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October

 

444 Camden Road, Islington, N7 0SP

High Rd, London N15 4RU

King’s Cross Centre, 211 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8RA

City of Liverpool College

28 September 6/7 October

1. The Learning Exchange, Roscoe Street L1 9dw

2. Arts & Mulberry, 9 Myrtle Street, LIVERPOOL L7 7JA            

Croydon College

28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October

College Rd, London CR9 1DX

Lambeth College

28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October

45 Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9BL

South Thames Colleges Group

Carshalton College

Kingston College 

Merton College

Wandsworth & Tooting College

28 September 6/7 October

 

  

Nightingale Rd, SM5 2EJ

Kingston Hall Rd, KT1 2AQ

London Rd, SM4 5QX

Wandsworth High St, SW18 2PP

 

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