Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford college staff to strike over pay row

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College staff in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford are to take strike action in a row over pay.

Stoke-on-Trent College and Stafford College are two of 15 FE colleges in the West Midlands to be hit by industrial action.

Lecturers, librarians, technicians, cleaners and caretakers who are members of UNISON and the UCU, are among those taking part in the national one-day strike.

Stafford College is closed today (February 24) due to the one-day national strike action.

A spokesperson for Stafford College said: “Whilst we understand the national agenda for better pay for further education staff, we are disappointed to have to close the college.

“We have ensured our students have booster classes scheduled so their learning is not impacted.

“This is a necessary measure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.”

Stoke-on-Trent College are expecting a few staff members to walk out.

A spokesperson from Stoke-on-Trent College, which has 1,700 students, said: “There will be no impact on lessons at all today (February 24) and there will be no influence on students.”

Union chiefs say 17% of staff members have had real-term pay cuts and very low pay rises.

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “After years of pay freezes and real terms pay cuts, staff have been left with no choice but to take action to win a fair deal.

“It’s time for the college employers to do the right thing, get back around the table and make a decent pay offer to all college staff for their dedication and hard work.”

(Additional reporting by Emma-Leigh Hayes)

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