Half of this week's college strikes cancelled or paused

Staff will still walk out at five colleges where talks have been unable to alleviate strike action

George Ryan

Strike action at five out of the ten colleges where walk outs were planned by UCU members this week were either settled or cancelled

Strikes are still set to take place at five colleges this week after half of the planned walkouts were called off or paused.

Industrial action at Bridgwater and Taunton College was called off after college leaders agreed an end to graded lesson observations and a 2 per cent pay rise over nine months – 1 per cent in April 2019 and a further 1 per cent in January 2020. Lower paid members will receive a 5 per cent increase in April 2019.

Read more: Ten more colleges back strikes in UCU ballot

More news: Low-paid support staff forced to turn to food banks

Background: Revealed: The colleges that could face pay strikes

It comes as the planned three days of strikes at New College Swindon were called off last week after staff were told they would receive a 2 per cent pay rise backdated to August and changes to pay grades.

However, the University and College Union said Bradford College has refused to engage with them since the last strike action in January, so the planned three days of walkouts will go ahead. It will be the third time this year staff have gone on strike at the college.

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: “Strike action is always a last resort and we are pleased that some colleges have worked with us to prioritise their staff and avoid disruption for students. We have always said colleges who engage with us on the pay and conditions of their staff will get a positive hearing and we are extremely frustrated that some chose not to do this.

“Bradford’s refusal to even hold talks until next month sends a terrible message to staff and students about where the college’s priorities lie. Where we have suspended action, colleges need to continue to work with us or we will have no option but to call further action.”

Summary of strike action

Strikes on

  • Bradford College
  • Croydon College
  • Harlow College
  • South Bank College (Lambeth College)
  • West Thames College (Monday to Wednesday)

Strikes suspended

  • Bath College
  • Petroc
  • City of Wolverhampton College

Pay claim settled

  • Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • New College Swindon

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George Ryan

George Ryan

George Ryan is a further education reporter for tes

Find me on Twitter @GeorgeMRyan

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