Teachers vote to strike

Further
education staff have voted to strike over pay.

Teachers
and support staff have rejected a 2.3 per cent offer, and trade union Unison is
demanding a minimum salary of £11,000 a year.

Industrial
action is planned for 5 November – unless employers come back to the
negotiating table.

Dave
Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: "I am incredibly angry that
employers have let it come to this. They seem happy to let pay in the sector
spiral downwards, leading to even greater problems with recruitment and
retention."

Prentis
claims that two-thirds of the union’s members earn less than £13,000 a year and
the pay offer is worth only 13p an hour for staff earning £10,500 a year.

"This
should be send a wake-up call to the employers that the situation is serious.
We are urging them to re-open pay negotiations."

The
union claims that vacancies among support and managerial staff in the further
education sector increased by 44 per cent last year and a Unison poll reveals
almost half of its members in colleges are actively seeking new jobs.

By Paul Nelson

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