Over 100 staff at Tyne Coast College will down tools next week in a fight over fair pay, announced the University and College Union (UCU) today (Friday).
Staff will strike on Monday 5 and Wednesday 7 June. They will be picketing outside main entrances from 7.30am to 9.30am on both strike days. The College has said it will be ‘closed for lessons’ during the strike days.
The strike comes after 94% of those who voted backed strike action. Turnout was 54%. It is over the 2022/3 pay claim, which comes on top of multiple real-term wage cuts and a recent pay freeze (2019/20).
The College has been involved in controversy recently as it suddenly announced the closure of a key part of their provision, the Sixth Form at Queen Alexandra College. This provoked anger amongst parents and students, as well as the staff, and the local MP also took up the issue. The uproar forced the college into a partial U-turn.
UCU regional support official Jon Bryan said:
‘Our members at Tyne Coast College have had enough. At every opportunity it seems that the staff are the last things the college seems to care about. We have been talking about pay since before Christmas, but we do not have an offer which comes close to meeting our needs.
‘The staff at all sites of the college have a loyalty to their students which is something to admire. We are asking for the college to recognise that dedication by respecting the staff and paying them their worth.’