Picket lines set up outside college

LECTURERS were going on strike at Suffolk New College today - causing disruption during students' exam period.

LECTURERS were going on strike at Suffolk New College today - causing disruption during students' exam period.

Meanwhile commuters and visitors heading to London faced major disruption as the first full day of strike action on the London Underground bit.

The lecturers in Ipswich are striking in protest against a pay deal. It has been organised by members of the University and College Union (UCU) and has led to a number of classes at the college being cancelled.

Picket lines were being held outside the college's main entrances in Rope Walk and Back Hamlet.

The UCU say its members are striking because of the college's failure to honour a pay deal agreed more than four years ago.

The union says the national pay deal should have left a mid-ranking further education lecturer earning �4,511 more a year.

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Jean Nial, who teaches at Suffolk and is a UCU member, said: “We regret having to take this action, but we think it's unfair that our pay is being kept down.

“It's only fair that we are paid the same as staff at other colleges and call upon the college to implement the 2004 deal. It will be hard for the college to retain and attract good lecturers if it continues to pay people so badly.”

Professor Dave Muller, principal of Suffolk New College, said: “This is part of a national campaign and the college is very disappointed that members are taking this action during the examination period. In the light of this the college will remain open and will facilitate where possible students having the opportunity to continue their studies or undertake revision for their assessments.”

In London there were reduced services on most tube lines as members of the RMT union staged a 48-hour strike over concerns about pay and conditions.

The strike is due to continue until 7pm tomorrow.

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