Further strike dates announced at Kirklees College, says UNISON

Support staff at Kirklees College will walk out for another two days this week as the dispute over pay continues, UNISON says today (Tuesday).

Workers will walk out tomorrow and Thursday (8 and 9 November) over the college’s continued refusal to negotiate pay.

This latest round of strikes follows four days of industrial action in September.

UNISON submitted a pay claim to senior managers at the college a year ago, for a 10% increase with a minimum rise of £2,000, backdated to 1 September 2022. It also called for minimum pay to be raised to the real living wage of £10.90 per hour.

The college rejected the claim, saying it does not negotiate over pay. It is now imposing a pay award on staff for the current academic year 2023/24, without negotiating with UNISON or resolving the outstanding dispute from the previous year.

Managers at the college say pay for workers will not be reviewed until April 2025.

UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside regional organiser Robin Symonds said: “Support staff at the college are bitterly disappointed. Senior managers have left them with no proper pay rise for last year and are now imposing changes without speaking to unions.

“The government’s increased college funding by more than a million pounds to cover salaries and unions should be at the table to discuss how it’s spent.

“Kirklees College has completely ignored calls for it to become an accredited Living Wage employer and won’t talk about pay until April 2025.

“But staff are suffering from a cost-of-living crisis right now. Refusing to even negotiate adds insult to injury. Principal Palvinder Singh must listen to staff and take the common-sense steps to resolve this dispute.”

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