The proposed all-out strike action at Huddersfield Technical College by Unison union members which was to begin on Monday of this week has been suspended until the end of the month.
The support staff had already taken two one-day strikes in response to the college's refusal to offer a pay rise from August 2001. The success of the stoppages surprised everybody, especially the college management, as two open days were disrupted.
The confidence of the strikers was shown when they voted for all-out action. Some 55 people have rushed to join Unison because of the dispute. Management then came to the negotiating table and offered a 2.5 percent pay rise from this month, and an extra 4 percent pay rise for August this year.
At a mass meeting on Wednesday of last week Unison steward Steve O'Loughlin said that it was a major victory. The meeting agreed to accept the offer.
But union members were only prepared to suspend the action when they saw the colour of the college's money. A unanimous vote at the 100-strong meeting agreed to ballot for strike action in response to the college's threat of compulsory redundancies to union members. The confidence gained from the pay dispute was clearly there for all to see.