From education to employment

Further education lecturers in Northern Ireland to strike tomorrow

lets strike

The University and College Union (UCU) today (Wednesday) confirmed its members in all six of Northern Ireland’s (NI) colleges will strike tomorrow (Thursday) [1].  

UCU is striking alongside workers across NI in a generalised day of action called by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). UCU general secretary Jo Grady will be on the picket line at Southern Regional College from 8.30am and will then be speaking at the ICTU strike rally at Belfast City Hall from 12pm [2].  

The walkout is the latest escalation in a long-running pay dispute that has seen staff take action repeatedly since September. Further education lecturers have seen a real-terms pay cut of 25% since 2015 due to seeing lecturer pay awards limited to between 1 % and 2% per year. 

The ICTU is demanding the restoration of Stormont, and for the UK government to release the monies it has available to settle NI public sector pay disputes. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

‘Our members will be on picket lines tomorrow because college pay is so low that many of them have to use food banks. Yet further education lecturers have not received any pay offer from their employers for the current academic year. 

‘NI lecturers earn less than schoolteachers, university lecturers and their counterparts in Scotland, Wales, and many areas of England. So the Tory government needs to stop using low-paid workers as political pawns and immediately release its funding package. After the sustained action our members have taken, further education lecturers need to be at the top of the queue for any pay settlements.’ 

[1] The colleges facing strike action are:

  1. Belfast Metropolitan College  
  2. North West Regional College 
  3. Northern Regional College 
  4. South Eastern Regional College 
  5. South West College 
  6. Southern Regional College 

[2] Picket and rally info for tomorrow (Thursday 18 January 2024):

Picket from 8.30am-11am: Southern Regional College, Patrick St, Newry BT35 8DN 

Rally from 12pm: Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square N, Belfast BT1 5GS

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