From education to employment

Leeds politicians address college strike rally on Monday

empty lecture

Local politicians will speak in support of college staff striking over pay and conditions at a rally on Monday (12 June) in Leeds, announced the University and College Union (UCU) today (Friday). 

The rally is being held at Quarry Hill by striking UCU members from Leeds City, Kirklees, Harrogate and Bradford colleges and will begin at 12pm. 

Speakers include UCU past-president Janet Farrar, UCU president-elect Maxine Looby, Leeds Labour Party councillors Jools Heselwood, Andrew Scopes, Kevin Ritchie and Penny Stables as well as Leeds Green Party councillor Ed Carlisle. 

Staff at all four colleges are striking on Monday and Wednesday next week after already going out on strike for two days this week. Bradford college staff are also on strike Tuesday and intend to take further action this month[1].

The ongoing disputes centre on low pay and high workloads. Staff pay has fallen behind inflation by as much as 35% since 2009, yet for 2022/23 employers at the four colleges forced through pay awards worth less than 4% for the vast majority of lecturers [2]. UCU is demanding a meaningful pay rise to help staff during the cost of living crisis and action to end to excessive workloads.  

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said:

‘Local politicians are coming out in support of striking staff because they know that poverty pay and dangerous workloads are bad for staff, bad for students and bad for the local community. College bosses need to listen, show they care about teaching and learning conditions and give staff the pay rise they deserve.’ 

[1]Bradford College strike dates:

  • Week 5: Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 June 
  • Week 6: Monday 19, Tuesday 20, Wednesday 21, Thursday 22 June 

[2] Further information on the college pay awards:

At Kirklees the dispute centres on an imposed 1% consolidated pay award for 2022/23. The college has now also imposed a 2.5% consolidated pay award, plus a move in scales at the top of the pay bands for lecturers and scarce skills lecturers, for 2023/24.

At Bradford the pay award for 2022/23 is only £1,160, which is worth just 3.2% for many lecturers.

At Harrogate College and Leeds City College the employer, Luminate Group, has imposed a 2022/23 pay award of just 2.5% alongside a one-off payment of £500 to £750.

Related Articles