South Downs College staff to strike as deal on pay and conditions rejected

28 June 2016

UCU members at South Downs College will walk out tomorrow in an escalating row over new contracts, which the union says would lead to worse pay and conditions for staff.

Staff will be on a picket line from 8am tomorrow morning at the main entrance on College Road.

The strike was announced after members voted to reject a deal which included plans to extend the period of salary protection and make a one-off payment to staff only if they accepted the new contracts.

UCU said the new contracts would lead to a pay cut of around 3% for many staff, and said that the college had failed to address concerns about the impact of the new contracts on other working conditions like holiday entitlement.

Tomorrow’s walkout is the first of four days of strike action in the coming weeks, with three further walk-outs planned for Thursday (30 June), Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 July. Members will also begin working to contract on Friday (1 July), which means they will refuse to work overtime or take on additional duties not specified in their contract.

UCU regional official, Moray McAulay, said: ‘Staff have made their position clear; they simply will not accept plans which would see them signing away a significant portion of their salary and holiday entitlement. The college has failed to address concerns about the long-term impact of these new contracts, both on existing staff and on the college’s ability to attract staff in the future.

‘Strike action is never taken lightly, but these plans are deeply damaging and members feel that they have been left with no option. The college urgently needs to review its plans and come back to the negotiating table with UCU to find a way forward.’

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