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Strikes on the cards at Nottingham College as staff overwhelmingly back industrial action

7 June 2019

Strikes on the cards at Nottingham College as staff overwhelmingly back industrial action

UCU members at Nottingham College have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a row over the college's plans to impose new contracts. In the ballot that closed on Friday 7 June, 96% of staff 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, and comes despite staff not receiving a pay rise since 2010.

The union says members will meet early next week to discuss next steps and said if the college wanted to avoid disruption it needs to rule out the sacking of any staff and to come back to the negotiating table to address concerns over the contract changes.

Staff have already held a series of demonstrations against the contracts with UCU members again protesting yesterday at sites across the city. The new contracts would also see staff lose up to eight days' holiday, as well as cuts to sick pay and the removal of workload protections.

UCU said Nottingham College was "swimming against the tide" and that elsewhere colleges were delivering better pay and conditions. The union 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 made it absolutely clear that they will not put up with these contracts being imposed on them. It is not acceptable for the college to try and bully people into signing away their rights and members are prepared to fight these changes.

'Nottingham College is swimming against the tide when it comes to staff pay and conditions and its refusal to address our members' concerns meant we were left with no option but to ballot for strike action. We hope this incredibly strong mandate for strike action will focus the minds of those in charge at the college and we can get back to the negotiating table.'

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