Pay for teachers and support workers has fallen drastically in real terms since 2010, and teachers are being told that employers cannot afford to match the 2.75 per cent for teachers in schools, after getting less than school teachers last year.
With less money to spend on resourcing the curriculum, there is reduced curriculum provision in many colleges. Our students suffer increased class sizes and the removal of enrichment activities, ever reducing access to mental health services while need increases, and reduced financial help with travel and educational supplies. Too many sixth form colleges have been forced into mergers.
Is it any wonder then that our members in sixth form colleges have voted decisively for strike action?
84.5 per cent of those balloted voted YES. The Trade Union Act sets a high bar, requiring that 50 per cent of members vote, and this was met in 25 colleges. That means that strike action will start for them on 17 October. Other colleges that were extremely close to the threshold will be re-balloted.
The first day of action will involve a rally and demonstration in London. All members will have the opportunity to show strength and solidarity across the country. Ask your rep for details.
Jean Evanson, post-16 executive member