Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pay Row Sees College Lecturers Vote to Go on Strike

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pay Row Sees College Lecturers Vote to Go on Strike

Article excerpt

LECTURERS at a North East college are to go on strike in a row over pay.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Sunderland College have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action. A date for the walk-out is due to be announced over the next few days.

Around 90% of lecturers who voted backed strike action and more than three-quarters backed action short of a strike.

The dispute centres on the college's plans to cut the salaries of more than 150 lecturers by pounds 10,000 and downgrade 70% of its teaching workforce to lower pay grades. The union says the move breaches nationally-agreed paid scales and will leave Sunderland College staff with less pay than lecturers elsewhere and around pounds 8,000 less than the average UK full-time worker. The union also accused the college of trying to deliver "teaching on the cheap" and using the current funding difficulties in further education as an excuse to cut staff pay. UCU regional official Iain Owens said: "Nobody wants to take strike action but members will not sit by while their pay and conditions are attacked in this punitive way. …

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