22nd Feb, 2020

Coventry college teachers strike today over pay

Felix Nobes 9th Apr, 2019 Updated: 9th Apr, 2019

TEACHERS and staff from Coventry College will strike this week in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the school’s two campuses will strike today (April 9), Wednesday and Thursday.

They will join members from other schools including City of Wolverhampton College and Warwickshire College, based in Leamington Spa.

The union says there will be picket lines outside Coventry College’s Swanswell Street site and its Henley Campus from 8am on each day.

Staff and teachers from Coventry College and Warwickshire College Group will take their protest to Coventry city centre, the UCU says.

Protesters will leave the Lady Godiva statue at noon to march through the city before reconvening at the historical landmark for a rally at 1pm.

The dispute centres on the failure of college bosses to make a decent pay offer to staff or address key issues such as excessive workloads, the UCU says.

It claims the pay gap between teachers in colleges and schools currently stands at £7,000 as staff have seen the value of their pay decline by a quarter over the last decade.

The strikes are part of a series of walkouts across England which started with UCU members at six colleges taking action in November.

UCU regional official Anne O’Sullivan said: “Strike action is always a last resort, but if colleges won’t work with us to prioritise staff then we are left with no other choice.

“Colleges who engage with us on the pay and conditions of their staff will receive a positive hearing, but those who refuse should not be surprised at the anger of their staff.

“Pay in further education is a problem, and it is time for colleges to get serious and do something about it.”

In the recent strike ballots, 92 per cent of UCU members at Coventry College voted backed strike action.

A spokesperson from Coventry College said: “The strike action taking place at Coventry College is part of a national programme of action aimed at highlighting to government the need for additional funding for the Further Education sector.

“College management and UCU have already been engaging in constructive discussions about pay and working practices and these will continue.

“The college will be open as usual all week.”

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