Socialist Worker

Strikes over further education pay deal

by Sean Vernell, UCU NEC
Issue No. 2136

The UCU lecturers’ union’s “IOU” pay implementation campaign will escalate on 5 February when 11 colleges will be taking strike action.

The colleges that will be on strike are Nelson and Colne, Croydon, Greenwich, North West London, Dearne Valley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Evesham, Sandwell, Sussex Downs, and Askham Bryan.

Some 70 percent of lecturers voted for action.

Lecturers are striking because management at all the colleges have refused to honour a national pay deal, that was agreed in 2004.

Half of all colleges have not implemented the agreement that adds two new points to the top of the pay scale and allows lecturers lower down to climb up quicker.

The government and employers argue that they cannot afford to meet the 2004 agreement.

But the government has the money to bail out bankers. And college management seem to be able to fund pay awards for principals which in many cases takes their pay up to four or five times that of a main grade lecturer on the top of the scale.

Many colleges also seem to find funds to waste on £700 a day consultants.

This is a national dispute and the UCU’s further education committee urges all branches to support those colleges that are taking action.

Many regions are asking branches to twin with those in their area that are taking action on 5 February, to visit their picket lines and collect money to show their support. UCU collection sheets will be sent out to all branches.

If management still refuses to implement the deal, these branches need to step up their action immediately – and all branches not affected by strike action should prepare to organise lunchtime protests in support of them.

UCU Left candidates are standing in the elections for the UCU national executive. Voting begins on 5 February. Go to » UCU left candidates in upcoming election


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News
Tue 27 Jan 2009, 18:47 GMT
Issue No. 2136
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