College lecturers vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action

Lecturers at Croydon College are to strike after rejecting a below-inflation 1 per cent pay offer.

Strike!: Croydon College faces up to 10 days of industrial action this term

Croydon is one of 15 further education colleges and grups of colleges run by the Association of Colleges.

The lecturers have voted for up to 10 days of industrial action this autumn.

Members of UCU, the University and College Union, say that their pay lags behind that of schoolteachers by £9,000 a year and has fallen by 30 per cent in real terms over the last decade.

The “derisory” 1 per cent pay offer has also been condemned by Unite, Unison, GMB and the National Education Union.

The lecturers will begin their strike action on Tuesday September 28.

The UCU warned that further walkouts could follow if the pay proposal was not increased.

As well as Croydon, the lecturers voted for strike action at Capital City College Group, City and Islington College, College of North East London, Westminster Kingsway College, Lambeth College, South Thames College Group, Carshalton College, Kingston College, Merton College and Wandsworth and Tooting College.

A ballot of the workers, who seek a pay rise of more than 5 per cent, saw 89 per cent vote in favour of strike action.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “College staff are angry at having had their pay held down whilst workloads increase.

“They have now had their pay cut by over 30 per cent in real terms over the past decade and this derisory 1 per cent pay offer is another real-terms cut.

“It is completely unacceptable and is especially insulting after staff have worked so hard throughout the covid pandemic.

“College leaders urgently need to come to the negotiating table if they want to avoid facing sustained strike action and severe disruption over the next few months.”


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