More strikes could follow in college pay row, UCU leader says

The TES is reporting that a union leader has warned that FE colleges could be hit by more strikes in the row over pay.

…Speaking at a rally in London [Wednesday], University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Sally Hunt… said: “This is not the end. If we have to do this again, then we do this again.”

She continued: “The UCU [striking] on its own, or Unison on its own, isn’t going to make a difference. What is going to make a difference is if we start building an alliance with public sector unions, education unions, and others in our sector that are willing to say that the funding situation in further education is beyond what is reasonable.”

Members have also called for a joint strike on 15 March with the NUT, which is currently balloting its members in sixth-form colleges over potential action in a separate dispute over the level of government funding…

Ms Hunt also criticised Association of Colleges’ (AoC) recommendation that its members shouldn’t offer a pay rise to their staff for 2015-16. “Employers need to know that what is taking place here isn’t by accident – it isn’t just because of government policy,” she told members. “It is a strategy that the employers through the AoC actively adopted. They are using you to hide from their responsibilities to stand up for further education and today is about us doing a job that our employers should be doing…”

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Where do you see this dispute going next and do you see the situation escalating with the NUT getting involved too?

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