College lecturers threaten more strikes

LECTURERS are prepared to ramp up strike action if a one-day walk out next week doesn't draw college bosses to the negotiating table.

Tom Potter

LECTURERS are prepared to ramp up strike action if a one-day walk out next week doesn't draw college bosses to the negotiating table.

Suffolk College will be shut next Tuesday when staff take industrial action over a national pay scale they say has been owed to them since 2004.

The Lecturers' union University and College Union (UCU) walked out over the same dispute in June this year but claim to have had no dialogue with college bosses since then.


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Jean Nial, UCU branch chair, said: “There has been no movement since then and they have chosen not to engage us in negotiation.

“In that time we have moved college and there has been a long summer break but there has still been time for them to talk to us.

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“There is a lot of bad feeling about this and people are starting to be tempted away from the college for better money.

“We feel the students deserve more and we are just asking for the money owed to us - nothing more.

“There is talk of escalation if no resolution is made.”

Suffolk College will be one of six schools in the country where walk outs are planned to be staged next week. No courses will run during the day, including those at out centres.

Professor Dave Muller, principle of the college, said: “I am obviously disappointed to have to cancel classes at such relative short notice.

“However, due to health and safety reasons and managing students so early in the new academic year it has been decided that this is the best course to take. It is very disappointing that UCU continue to take strike action on issues relating to pay rather than overall conditions of service, whilst recognising their right to do so”.

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