Two strike dates announced by UCU members at college

Members of the University and College Union have declared plans for two days of strike action at Lewisham Southwark College in a row over pay

Staff at Lewisham Southwark College are set to go out on strike later this month in a row over pay

Staff at Lewisham Southwark College are set to go out on strike later this month in a row over pay.

University and College Union members say they will walk out on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 May unless the college addresses their concerns over falling pay.

The union said that NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group), which Lewisham Southwark College is a part of, “refused to implement a national pay deal of just 1 per cent”, adding that staff had been offered only one pay increase (of 1 per cent) in the past five years.

At colleges that have honoured national pay increases, staff pay has fallen by 24 per cent in real terms since 2009, according to the union.

London-weighting allowanced 'removed'

The UCU said the college group, based in the North East of England, has removed the London weighting allowance for staff based at Lewisham Southwark College.

The union said staff have had enough and would walk out this month as a last resort in their battle over pay. In the recent strike ballot, 93 per cent of UCU members at the college who voted backed strike action.

UCU regional support official Jon Bryan said: “Staff at Lewisham Southwark College have seen their pay held down for years and they have had enough. Strike action is always a last resort, but staff clearly feel they have been left with no alternative. Such a strong mandate for strike action should focus the minds of NCG management and they must deal with the pay issue if they want to avoid serious disruption later this month.”

On Thursday the UCU announced that its members at Bradford College had given their backing to strike action in a dispute over plans to cut jobs and change contracts.

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