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Industrial 16 colleges brace for strikes over 1% pay offer

SIXTEEN colleges are bracing for strikes after staff overwhelmingly backed action over pay.

A massive 92 per cent of staff voted for strikes on a 63 per cent turnout, with colleges union UCU saying details of the action — expected to be two-day walkouts in most cases — would be announced in the next few days.

UCU said a “disappointing” 1 per cent pay offer from the from the Association of Colleges in September fails to address years of pay suppression.

At some colleges the dispute also includes concerns about holiday entitlement, workload and observation policies.

UCU said it was ready to negotiate to avoid unnecessary disruption but that college leaders need to take urgent action to address staff concerns.

General secretary Sally Hunt said: “The overwhelming support for strike action at these colleges shows the depth of anger about continued attempts to hold down pay in further education.

“Strikes are always a last resort for staff, but years of derisory pay offers have failed to keep up with the rising cost of living and patience is wearing thin.”

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