York College union members strike over pay and status

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) demonstrated outside the entrance to the campus on Tadcaster Road and were greeted with honks in response to their shouts: “We can’t survive on two point five.”

Official negotiations that began in January – with the union demanding a 10 percent increase and the university offering two and a half percent – came to a standstill on August 28.

On the first day of the new academic year, students were informed that the website would be closed today.

The UCU is also running separate campaigns in higher education and UCU regional officer Julie Kelley said further education was the “Cinderella” sector where she said pay had lagged behind the university sector and school teachers.

The Press spoke to three students who joined the strike line out of sympathy with UCU members, including University of York student Boitumelo Mokalake, who said he would not have made it to the strike line without the support of two of the tutors Higher education achieved.

York Press: Boitumelo returned to his former campus to support his former lecturersBoitumelo returned to his former campus to support his former lecturers (Image: UCU – York College Branch)

He said there was a saying about the area in Botswana where he grew up: “A champion is raised by a village,” referring to the time tutors Alison Willis and Sean Ledwith would pick him up every time , when he was thinking about leaving York College.

Maths teacher Hamish Brown said: “Nobody wants to go on strike, we do it because we feel we have no other choice.”

York Press: Hamish Brown said strike was last resortHamish Brown said the strike was a last resort (Image: UCU – York College Branch)

“We were made an absolutely disastrous salary offer between January and December this year.

“The government has just announced that there will be more money for university lecturers.

“I think the general public assumes that we get the same as teachers.”

A spokesman for York College said: “While we regret having to postpone the start of the new academic year due to industrial action by members of the University and College Union, we were pleased to see that the strike took place in an environment of mutual consent.” Respect between those on the picket line and those who reported to work this morning.

“We now look forward to welcoming both students and staff back to campus tomorrow.”

The union has said further strike action could take place on Friday September 15 if the dispute cannot be resolved.

Cllr Bob Webb, head of children, young people and education at York City Council, stood on the picket line and was asked about recent industrial action in the education sector.

He said: “These are not strikes taking place in the traditional sectors.

“We’re not talking about people who are militant in any way.

“We’re talking about educators, people who really want to be there and do their job.

“But honestly, we all need to be paid enough to live, thrive and survive.”

He said a tax on the top 1 percent of earners could have a positive impact on public services such as education.

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23781481.york-college-union-members-strike-pay-status/?ref=rss York College union members strike over pay and status

Linh

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