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UCU members at Nottingham College announce mammoth 15 days of strike action

15 July 2019 | last updated: 16 September 2019

Nottingham College faces weeks of walkouts in September and October after UCU members announced plans for a mammoth 15 days of strike action.

The union said its members were furious at the college's "deplorable tactic" of threatening to dismiss staff who refuse to sign up to new contracts that would leave them worse off. It said staff had made their frustrations clear at a meeting last week where they unanimously backed the extensive walkouts.

The strikes will start with a one day walkout on Wednesday 11 September, escalating to strikes of two, three, four and five days in subsequent weeks. Staff at the college walked out for a one-day strike on Monday 1 July and warned then that if the college did not come back to the table prepared to seriously negotiate then further action would follow.

UCU said the proposed contracts would leave over 80 staff more than £1,000 a year worse off. They would also see all staff lose up to eight days' holiday, cuts to sick pay, and the removal of an agreement designed to protect staff against work overload. Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010. In the recent ballot, 96% of UCU members who voted backed the walkouts.

The union said that staff were sending a clear message to the employer by announcing the mammoth action, and called for the college to start negotiating in earnest to avoid serious disruption.

UCU head of further education, Andrew Harden, said: 'UCU members at Nottingham College are furious at the way they are being treated. Threatening dismissal in order to strong-arm staff into signing a new contract is a deplorable tactic that we haven't seen in further education for many years, and one which our members will resist with full force. The college is completely out of step with what is happening elsewhere in the sector, where we have been working positively with good employers to improve conditions for staff.

'In announcing 15 days of action, staff at the college are sending a clear message that they will not be cowed by their employer. If the college wants to avoid serious disruption it needs to start negotiating with us in earnest.'

The full strike dates are:

Week 1: 11 September
Week 2: 19 and 20 September
Week 3: 23, 24 and 25 September
Week 4: 30 September, 1, 3, and 4 October
Week 5: 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 October

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