University and College Union (UCU) members at 29 colleagues in England have today started a 10 day period of strike action in a dispute over low pay.
The 10 days of action are spread across four weeks until the end of October.
Staff at 17 colleges across England begin their strike next Monday 26 September with a further 12 colleges striking the week after.
Staff at nine further colleges also have mandates to strike but are not yet going forward with action. Should these colleges fail to make staff suitable pay offers, industrial action could follow.
The union is demanding that employers make a pay offer which matches the rising costs college staff are facing.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Strike action on this scale in further education is unprecedented.
“But our members have been left with no other option, they are being pushed into poverty by college bosses who refuse to raise pay to help them meet the cost-of-living crisis.
“College staff deliver excellent education but over the last twelve years their pay has fallen behind inflation by 35 per cent and now thousands are skipping meals, restricting energy use and considering leaving the sector altogether.
“This strike action will continue for 10 days unless college bosses wake up to this crisis, stop dining off the goodwill of their workforce and make a serious pay offer.”
UCU is also balloting staff at 150 universities including over low pay.
When are the days of strike action?
The UCU will be out on strike on the following days:
- Week 1: Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 September (3 days)
- Week 2: Thursday 6 and Friday 7 October (2 days)
- Week 3: Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 October (2 days)
- Week 4: Tuesday 18 Wednesday, 19 and Thursday 20 October (3 days)