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Strike action announced at colleges across North West England

on strike sign

Four colleges across the North West England will be hit with more strike action later this year unless employers agree to raise staff pay, the University and College Union (UCU) has announced today (Thursday). 

Staff at Burnley College, The Manchester College, City of Liverpool College, and Oldham College will walk out for two days during college induction weeks on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 September. 

UCU says college leaders must act now if they want to avoid a repeat of the disruption of strike action in May and June, which impacted thousands students.   

The union is demanding the colleges increase pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35% and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9k.   

In 2021, the Westminster government announced an 8.4% increase in funding targeted at those in England aged 16-17 years old, the biggest rise in funding for further education in more than decade and coming after £240m in additional funding announced in 2018.   

Pay rises were agreed earlier in the year at Hopwood Hall College and Bury College and UCU is calling for employers across the region to follow their lead and agree to improved pay offers.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: ‘Industrial action is a last resort but following the repeated refusal of employers to give staff a proper pay rise we have been left with no choice but to announce further strikes. That staff at these colleges are prepared to lose another two days’ pay, shows the strength of feeling amongst staff and we encourage employers to listen. College leaders can afford to pay staff more must not force them to bear the brunt of soaring inflation and rising. Leaders now have until September to do the right thing and give staff a decent pay rise or face strike action across the region.’ 

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