Staff at Nottingham College will walk out on Monday 1 July as part of a row over the college’s plans to impose new contracts, with the University and College Union (UCU) threatening more walkouts if the dispute cannot be resolved.
In the recent ballot, 96% of UCU members who voted backed strike action.
UCU has accused the college of holding staff to ransom after it announced plans to dismiss anyone refusing to sign up to new contracts. The proposals would leave over 80 staff more than £1,000 worse off, despite staff not receiving a pay rise since 2010. The new contracts would see staff lose up to eight days’ holiday and cuts to sick pay.
Ahead of the strikes, there will be a protest in Nottingham city centre on Thursday (20 June). The rally will begin at 5pm at the Brian Clough statue in Market Square.
The union said its members had been left with no choice but to take strike action after the college refused to address their concerns. UCU said that instead of holding staff to ransom, the college should work with the union to deliver better pay and conditions. UCU pointed to recent deals at Hugh Baird College and Lambeth College as examples of what could be achieved when colleges work with the union.
UCU head of further education, Andrew Harden, said: ‘UCU members at Nottingham College have been left with no choice but to take strike action. Staff who have gone nine years without a pay rise are not prepared to simply stand by and accept pay cuts and attacks on their working conditions. If the college wants to avoid serious disruption then it needs to urgently work with us to address the concerns of staff.
‘The overwhelming backing of strikes in the recent ballot shows the strength of feeling on this issue. Nottingham College would do well to learn from the colleges we have worked with to improve pay and conditions, instead of holding staff to ransom and trying to impose these damaging new contracts.’