College staff strike over pay
LECTURERS from Macclesfield College went on strike in protest over a proposed pay freeze.
The staff, who are members of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), took part in a 24-hour walk out last Wednesday after the college rejected their request for a £1 per hour pay rise and instead recommended a pay freeze.
David Mayers, Macclesfield College UCU branch secretary, said the college has offered a series of below inflation pay rises since 2009 and staff were left with ‘no alternative’ but to strike.
Mr Mayers, who was joined in solidarity by representatives from UNISON, which also has members affected, said: “Further education has been hard hit by government cuts, but Macclesfield College is deliberately choosing to spend less of its income on staff.
“Staff are being asked to work harder and longer while colleagues lose their jobs. Since August 2009, the college has offered a series of below-inflation pay rises that equal less than three per cent in total.
“When compared with the rising cost of living, further education staff have suffered a pay cut of over 17pc in real terms over the same period.
“College lecturers and all college staff work under difficult conditions to deliver opportunities to some of the most educationally-neglected sections of our society.
“No lecturer likes to go on strike, but the UCU branch at Macclesfield College felt it was left with no alternative but to sacrifice a day’s pay to protect the long-term interests of their students and the health of the sector as a whole.”
Macclesfield College declined to comment.