Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Nottingham College walked out on Monday (1 July) as part of a row over plans to impose new contracts, the official picket is at Clarendon College in the city.
Staff manned the picket lines from 7.30am at the Clarendon Campus on Pelham Avenue. There is also a bake-off, music and learning activities at the John Farr Rest Garden (opposite the main entrance) from 8 am.
The dispute centres on the college’s proposal to dismiss anyone refusing to sign up to new contracts. The plans would leave over 80 staff more than £1,000 worse off. The contracts would also see all staff lose up to eight days’ holiday and cuts to sick pay. Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010.
UCU has accused the college of holding staff to ransom and said a failure to address members’ concerns had left them with no choice but to take strike action. In the recent ballot, 96% of UCU members who voted backed strike action.
UCU said the college should work with the union to deliver better pay and conditions, and 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: ‘Staff at Nottingham College are rightly outraged by this attack on their pay and working conditions. Strike action is always a last resort, but the college has repeatedly refused to address members’ concerns so UCU members feel that they have been left with no choice.
‘Instead of holding staff to ransom and trying to impose these damaging new contracts, Nottingham College would do well to learn from the colleges who have worked with UCU to improve pay and conditions.’