Burnley College UCU staff will strike for two days over low pay dispute

Staff at Burnley College began a two day strike during student induction week today (Tuesday) in a dispute over low pay.

University and College Union (UCU) members are on picket lines at college entrances from 8am on both strike days, today and tomorrow.

UCU members are demanding bosses increase pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Energy bills have risen to record levels and RPI inflation is currently 12.3%. So far none of the three colleges have made a meaningful pay offer.

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In 2021, the Westminster government announced an 8.4% increase in funding targeted at those in England aged 16-17 years old, the biggest rise in funding for further education in more than decade and coming after £240m in additional funding announced in 2018.

Burnley College UCU staff are set to strike

Announcing the action in July, the union was demanding the colleges increase pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35% and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9,000.

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Strike action announced at Burnley College by UCU
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UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “College staff are facing the worst cost of living crisis in living memory but college bosses are refusing to meaningfully raise pay.

"This is pushing staff into poverty. By taking strike action our members are saying enough is enough. The money is there to pay staff fairly and college leaders need to do so urgently to avoid further disruption.”

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Pay rises were agreed earlier in the year at Hopwood Hall College and Bury College, and UCU is calling for employers across the region to follow their lead and agree to improved pay offers.