From education to employment

Two-day strike at three North West Colleges begins today over low pay

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary

Staff at Burnley College, The Manchester College and Oldham College began a two day strike during student induction week today (Tuesday) in a dispute over low pay. University and College Union (UCU) members are on picket lines at college entrances from 8am on both strike days, today and tomorrow (Wednesday).

UCU members at the three colleges are demanding bosses increase pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Energy bills have risen to record levels and RPI inflation is currently 12.3%. So far none of the three colleges have made a meaningful pay offer.

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. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

‘College staff are facing the worst cost of living crisis in living memory but college bosses are refusing to meaningfully raise pay. This is pushing staff into poverty. By taking strike action our members are saying enough is enough. The money is there to pay staff fairly and college leaders need to do so urgently to avoid further disruption.’

Related Articles