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Barnet & Southgate College strikes set to hit GCSE, BTEC & A-level exams

strike sign

Staff at Barnet and Southgate College will strike for three days from Friday 19 May in a long-running pay dispute, announced the University and College Union (UCU) today (Wednesday).

The strike dates will impact crucial GCSE, BTEC and A-level exams, including English and Math.

The full strike dates are:

  • Friday 19 May
  • Monday 5 June
  • Wednesday 7 June  

UCU said there is still time to call the strikes off and stop disruption to exams if the college makes a realistic pay offer.

The strike comes after an overwhelming 96% of staff who voted backed taking action in a ballot to extend the union’s industrial mandate. UCU members have already downed tools for three days in the long-running dispute after college bosses imposed pay awards of just 1% for 2021/22 and 1% for 2020/21. The college has now imposed a further pay award of just 2.5% for 2022/23.

College accounts show Barnet and Southgate generated a surplus of over £2.6m in 2022, has almost £8m in cash sitting in the bank and more than £43m in reserves. UCU is demanding a meaningful pay rise to help staff meet the cost-of-living crisis.

UCU regional support official Caroline Lake said: ‘Our members take huge pride in educating and supporting students, and striking during exam and assessment periods is a last resort, but the college is refusing to make a realistic pay offer. Staff have suffered three successive years of real term pay cuts and are fed up of being pushed into poverty. Management must now meet with us urgently and agree a deal to avoid disruption during crucial GCSE, A-level and BTEC exams.’

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