London Lecturers’ Pay Strike!

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UCU members, City & Islington College, on the picket line during the national strike on April 24th
UCU members, City & Islington College, on the picket line during the national strike on April 24th

COLLEGE lecturers in London, members of the University and College Union (UCU), will take strike action on Monday (9 June).

And further action across England may follow in September if employers don’t improve their latest pay offer, the union warned yesterday.

The London lecturers will join a TUC lobby of MPs on Monday, in defence of public services.

On Thursday, the college employers’ association Association of Colleges, failed to make an acceptable offer to the six further education unions who are seeking a 6% pay increase or £1500.

Employers offered a deal worth only 2.5% in cash terms, though couched as a 3% offer, but starting from 1st October not 1st August as is normal.

All six unions roundly rejected the offer as inadequate.

Barry Lovejoy head of further education at UCU said yesterday: ‘This kind of offer is not going to meet our members’ expectations and Monday’s strike in London goes ahead.

‘Employers wasted an opportunity to prevent this by failing to make a serious offer.

‘And if employers do not significantly improve their offer they can expect more of the same in September – across England.

‘College lecturers are providing high quality work, earning high satisfaction levels from students but watching the value of their pay diminish.

‘It is already 6% less than schoolteachers’ pay and the gap must be closed.’

Last Wednesday (4 June), college lecturers in England were involved in widespread protests at colleges, alongside colleagues from other college unions to highlight their case for improved pay.

Many of the protests attracted student support.

Several hundred representatives of six million public sector workers in the UK will be joining Monday’s lobby of MPs, which starts with a 1pm rally in the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.

• Scotland’s biggest teachers union, the Educational Institution of Scotland, yesterday voted to ballot on industrial action, including strike action, to protest against budget cuts.

Delegates voted for an emergency motion at the EIS annual conference calling instead on the Scottish government, and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, to increase funding and to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies and that promises on class sizes are delivered.