UCU members will be balloted to take strike action in support of an 'inflation plus' pay claim of at least 8.5% for 2021/22.
The industrial ballots come after UCU members overwhelmingly indicated they were prepared to back strike action in consultative ballots.
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The ballots close on Monday, April 11, and if successful, strike action could begin next month. UCU said college leaders must act now if they want to avoid the disruption of strike action, which will otherwise impact thousands of students.
UCU says since 2009 pay in further education has fallen behind inflation by 35% and the pay gap between school and college teachers stands at around £9k. Westminster recently announced the biggest increase in further education funding in more than a decade. As the cost of living crisis bites, one college has granted its staff access to campus foodbanks.
UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: “We have been left with no choice but to begin balloting for strike action at colleges across the North West of England after employers repeatedly ignored our requests for a proper pay rise.
“Due to soaring inflation staff now face a cost of living crisis. We believe these colleges can afford to pay staff more. College leaders need to do the right thing and give staff a decent pay rise before ballots close, or they risk strike action.”