UCU members sick at bosses refusal to deal with real-term pay cuts

UCUUSU members working in further education colleges are today on strike in a row over pay.

Staff are angry that the employers’ representatives, the Association of Colleges, recommended a pay freeze, despite staff suffering a real-terms pay cut of 17.1% in the last five years.

Three-quarters (74%) of UCU members who voted back strike action after the employers rejected the joint trade unions’ pay claim of £1 an hour extra for staff.

After attending picket lines from 8am, staff in London will make their way to Westminster for a rally at Emmanuel Centre that starts at 1pm. Speakers will include shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow minister for further education Gordon Marsden and UCU general secretary Sally Hunt.

In Birmingham UCU members will attend a rally at Birmingham and Midland Institute at 11am where speakers will include UCU president Liz Lawrence.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “UCU members are sick of the employers’ refusal to deal with the real-terms pay cuts that have blighted the sector. For the Association of Colleges to recommend that all of their members freeze staff pay this year was a real insult.

‘Members who voted gave a clear mandate for strike action and we are taking action today. We hope the employers will now come back to the table.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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