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‘We have been left with no alternative’: Havering College staff strike over pay conditions

PUBLISHED: 15:30 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 28 March 2018

Havering College staff will be striking due a row over pay and conditions. Photo: Steve Poston.

Havering College staff will be striking due a row over pay and conditions. Photo: Steve Poston.

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A dispute about pay and conditions has led staff at Havering College to take part in a two-day walkout.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Havering College will be on strike tomorrow (Tuesday, March 26) and on Wednesday, March 27 in what will be the second disruption at the college in under a month.

Union members at the college, which has campuses in Harold Hill, Ardleigh Green and Rainham, previously walked out on February 28 and March 1, as part of action coordinated with other colleagues also striking over pay issues.

Jerry Griffiths, Havering College UCU representative said: “Nobody wants to be on strike but we feel we have been left with no alternative.

“College leaders rejected our proposals to deal with staff pay and conditions and are refusing to negotiate a new deal.”

The dispute is the result of a pay offer of 1pc from the employer’s representative, the Association of Colleges, in September.

UCU believe the below-inflation offer failed to address the years of pay suppression which further education staff have endured.

“This is the second walkout and, unless there is real progress, there will be more,” Jerry said.

“The ball is in the college’s court.”

Maria Thompson, principal at Havering College said: “Strike action is always regrettable, not least because of the potential impact on students.

“Fortunately, we were able to mitigate any disruption of this localised action and are pleased to confirm all three campuses are open as usual.”

Of the three-quarters of UCU members at Havering who voted in the most recent strike ballot, 78pc backed the strikes.

Mrs Thompson added: “We value our workforce and it is not acceptable that teachers in schools are earning on average £37,000 compared with only £30,000 in colleges.

“We need government to address the currently inadequate funding levels for colleges.”


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