Lecturers at eleven colleges across England have taken the first steps towards a strike after bosses failed to consent to a national pay deal, which was agreed between the NATFHE and The Association of Colleges two years ago.
The lecturers, who are members of the NATFHE- the University & College Lecturers” Union, have waited for nearly ten months for the deal to be put into action and are even prepared to walk out for a day later this month. It is estimated that the agreement would have increased lecturers” pay by up to 8%, and was seen as making a significant change in narrowing the 10% pay gap between college lecturers and school teachers.
“Our members at these colleges have not rushed into being balloted for industrial action; they have been extremely patient and declined to join in earlier national strike ballots in the mistaken belief that they would be paid the agreed increases. But after ten months of waiting, their patience is exhausted,” said Barry Lovejoy, NATFHE’s head of colleges.
NATFHE have emphasised that the Government also bears some responsibility for the delays in implementing this pay deal and has created prolonged uncertainty over further education colleges” funding. However, by having some form of commitment from the college management, disruption could easily be avoided, allowing them to sit down with the union to discuss ways to implement the new pay scale.
More than 25% of colleges across England have now reached settlements on this pay deal and a further 12% are in talks to do so.
The eleven colleges striking are:
West Nottinghamshire College
North Notts College
The College of North East London (CONEL)
Sussex Downs College
South Birmingham College
North Lindsey College
Joseph Priestley College
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