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Nottingham College strikes suspended at eleventh hour

4 November 2019 | last updated: 5 November 2019

Strikes scheduled to start on Tuesday 5 November at Nottingham College have been suspended at an eleventh hour meeting of UCU members at the college.

Staff were due to walk out for 14 days this month, but have agreed to suspend the action for two weeks so they can consider a new offer from the college.

The long-running row centres on the college's attempts to impose inferior contracts that will cut holiday entitlement and see some staff take a pay cut. UCU members at the college walked out for 15 days in September and October and passed votes of no confidence in their CEO and chair of governors.

Last month, councillors from across Nottingham slammed the college for its handling of the dispute, saying they found it 'quite incredulous' that staff were considering more walkouts. The damning letter also highlighted the 'staggering lack of trust' staff have in the college, which left one councillor calling on the CEO to consider his position.

Students at the college have publicly declared their support for the staff and over 4,600 people have signed a petition demanding staff are given fair contracts. In the strike ballot, 96% of UCU members who voted backed strikes.

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: 'Industrial action is always a last resort but the college's refusal to negotiate in good faith had left staff with no alternative. We are pleased the college appears to finally recognise the need to work with its staff and not against them.

'We would like to thank all the students, councillors and local people that have supported our fight for fair pay and conditions. Our members have demonstrated that they will not be taken for fools and are prepared to take strike action to defend their jobs. The ball is now firmly in the college's court and it needs to deliver on its promises.'

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