Staff at two colleges to strike again in dispute over pay and conditions

Posted On 26 Feb 2020 at 12:03 pm

Staff at two sixth form colleges in Brighton and Hove are to strike tomorrow for a fourth time in five months in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The strike involves members of the National Education Union (NEU) at Varndean College and BHASVIC (Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College).

The NEU said: “National Education Union members working in Varndean College and BHASVIC will be taking a further day of strike action tomorrow (Thursday 27 February) to demand more funding for their colleges.”

The union said that members at the two colleges would be on strike alongside staff at more than 30 other sixth form colleges nationwide.

The Spearhead

The most recent strike took place on Wednesday 12 February and another is scheduled for Tuesday 10 March.

The NEU said: “In total, 38 per cent of all sixth form colleges and 16-19 academies will be taking action together.

“The NEU is in dispute with the Secretary of State and seeking improved pay, conditions and employment through better funding for 16-19 education.

“Many NEU members will be attending a rally at Parliament Square in Westminster tomorrow (Thursday 27 February), followed by a march to the Department for Education.”

The union added: “There is currently an overall £700 million shortfall in funding for post-16 education which the NEU wants to see rectified in the forthcoming budget.

“Funding for 16-19 education has been cut by more and for longer than in schools – and funding increases announced before the election are grossly inadequate.

“Jobs have been cut, class sizes have risen and pay has fallen.

“If the crisis continues to go unaddressed, the future of the sector is at threat and it is students’ education that will continue to suffer.”

Jason Wye, from the NEU, said: “Our members are seeking higher and sustained funding which will improve the pay, working conditions and security of employment of NEU members and secure the future of the sector.

“16-19 education has been neglected under the Conservatives – and in sixth form colleges in particular.

“No one strikes willingly but our members are angry and determined to secure a properly funded future for both staff and students.”

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