Workers at 11 colleges in England are balloting for strikes.
Ten ballots are over pay. A separate ballot at Capital City College Group in London is over pay, working conditions, and compulsory redundancies.
The pay gap between college and school teachers currently stands at £9,000 a year as further education workers have suffered real terms pay cuts of over 30 percent in the past decade.
But this year the employers’ body, Association of Colleges, recommended a pay offer of just 1 percent. At ten of the colleges, UCU is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5 percent.
At Capital City College Group bosses are trying to make over 30 staff redundant, while investing millions into new “teacherless” training.
UCU union general secretary Jo Grady said, “Employers have millions more in the bank after government investment, so staff should not have to threaten to strike to be paid fairly.
“The government talks of ‘levelling up’ and ‘building back better’ but if these slogans are going to have any actual substance, we need investment in our colleges and staff.”
Liverpool must strike over pay docking
Escalation to more strikes and national support is urgently needed after University of Liverpool bosses launched a brutal attack on UCU members.
Bosses have told workers taking part in a marking and assessment boycott that they will withhold 100 percent of their wages, despite them being willing to carry out most duties.
University management said they will withhold wages until staff complete marking all assessments affected by the industrial action.
UCU members began the boycott as part of a campaign of strikes and other action over the university’s decision to sack 24 staff from the faculty of health and life sciences
Pimlico action escalates
Pimlico Academy teachers in London walked out last week for two days.
They said they were fighting an unacceptable management style, an unsafe working environment and failure to communicate serious incidents properly with staff.
The two-day walkout by NEU union members was an escalation from the single strike day a week prior.
Following failed negotiations staff were set to escalate to three days of strikes from Tuesday this week.
Students, teachers and parents are all united in their fight against management. The picket line has been solidly supported by all.
Redbridge victimisation struggle
Teaching staff at Oaks Park High School in Redbridge, east London, planned to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Workers are standing in solidarity with four victimised workers who used Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act to refuse to work in an unsafe environment in January.
This week’s action is an increase following the single strike day last week.