UCU votes to strike over rejected pay deal

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The University and College Union is to hold a national strike on 10 November in its pay dispute with the Association of Colleges, TES can reveal.

In UCU's ballot over strike action, 74 per cent of members who voted backed the plans. This comes after the AoC rejected the FE unions’ joint pay submission calling for a £1 per hour rise for all staff. The unions also asked for the AoC to commit to the living wage as a minimum level of pay, as well as a new code of practice for dealing with workload issues in colleges.

In response, the AoC said it would be offering no pay rise at all for 2015-16. At a meeting of the union’s FE committee on Saturday, UCU decided to work towards a strike next month.

Michael MacNeil, UCU’s head of bargaining, called on the AoC to come up with an increased pay offer to avert the action.

“UCU members who voted clearly backed strike action and the further education committee on Saturday confirmed plans for action this term,” he said. “We intend to take strike action on Tuesday 10 November, but urge the employers to come back to the table to resolve this dispute.”

The Unison union, which represents support staff in the sector, has also rejected AoC's pay freeze recommendation, and warned that it would launch a trade dispute with the AoC unless an increased pay offer is made.

An AoC spokesman said the association was unable to comment as it had not been formally notified about the strike by UCU.

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