Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at New College Swindon have called off a three-day walkout due to begin on Wednesday (20 march) after the union agreed a new pay deal with the college.

The deal will see all staff receive a 2% pay rise backdated to August and there will be a series of changes made immediately to the pay scales to allow staff to move up to better paid grades faster. Both sides have agreed to set up a working party to monitor the changes and look at other potential improvements to pay progression.

UCU said that other colleges who wished to avoid disruption in the future should follow New College Swindon’s lead and negotiate now on pay and conditions. Union members are due to walk out at nine colleges* next week as part of a third wave of strikes in protest at pay and conditions.

UCU regional official Nick Varney said: ‘This new deal is good news for staff at the college and good news for students who won’t face further disruption. Nobody ever wants to take strike action, but members felt they had been left with no alternative.

‘Colleges who don’t try and hide behind government failings, but instead engage with us on the pay and conditions of their staff will receive a positive hearing. Colleges who give nothing when they could work with us to solve these problems should expect to reap what they sow.’

* West Thames College UCU members are on strike Monday to Wednesday (18, 19 & 20 March)

UCU members at the following colleges are on strike from Wednesday to Friday (20, 21 & 22 March):

  • Bath College
  • Bradford College
  • Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • City of Wolverhampton College
  • Croydon College
  • Harlow College
  • Petroc
  • South Bank College (previously Lambeth College)

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