College teachers strike action
29 November 2018, 10:04 | Updated: 29 November 2018, 10:08
Strike action continues at Petroc College in North Devon for the second day.
The union said it had hoped the college would come forward with a serious offer to avoid the disruption, but none has been forthcoming.
The dispute centres on the failure of colleges to make a decent pay offer to staff who have seen their pay decline by 25% in the past decade.
The pay gap between schoolteachers and teachers in colleges is now £7,000. In the recent ballot, nine in 10 (91%) of UCU members at the college who voted backed strike action.
College staff will be on picket lines outside on Old Sticklepath Hill from 7:30am on both days.
UCU members are walking out on strike at six colleges in England as part of the campaign for fair pay. Members at Petroc will be joined on strike by staff at Bath College, Bradford College, Croydon College, Lambeth College and New College Swindon.
Ballots will also be opening at a further 26 colleges* on the first day of the strike (Wednesday 28 November), including at City College Plymouth.
Those ballots will close on Wednesday 19 December.
UCU regional official Nick Varney said: "UCU members at Petroc will be taking strike action this week because the college has failed to deal with the pay issue.
"While workloads have never been higher, pay packets have shrunk in recent years.
"Industrial action is always a last resort for staff but members have been left with no choice but to take this action.
"We hope the strikes this week will focus the college’s mind and they will come back to us and get the dispute sorted.
"Otherwise we are likely to see further disruption."
* The 26 colleges where strike ballots will open on 28 November
Abingdon & Witney College
Bridgwater and Taunton College
City College Plymouth
City Literary Institute
City of Bristol College
City of Wolverhampton College
East Riding College
East Sussex College Group
Hugh Baird College
Richmond upon Thames College
South and City College Birmingham
South Thames College
Truro and Penwith College
West Thames College