Members in my college are not taking strike action. Why?
The threshold for participation is 50% of members and in your college the turnout of members was less than 50%.
Are teacher trainees eligible to strike?
Only teacher trainees who are employed by the college are eligible to strike.
I work in a Sixth Form College within an FE college should NEU FE members cross the picket line?
Only those NEU members balloted to take action can take industrial action. Members in other parts of the college who were not balloted are not eligible to join the action.
Can members who joined during or after the ballot go on strike?
Yes, as long as this is not an additional ‘group’ of members.
What about if students are taking exams: will they need to cross the picket line?
Union advice in these circumstances is that the strike should go ahead but there should not be a picket line. Our action is to support teachers and learners, not to cause any undue anxiety in what could be a crucial time for learners.
Is there dispensation to support students on strike days?
Requests for specific dispensation should be directed to the relevant regional secretary.
Explain how the dates were chosen for the industrial action?
The dates were chosen by the NEU Executive. They are on different days to cause less disruption to timetabled classes.
Why the union feels it’s important to take the industrial action at this time?
The timing of the action is crucial as NEU has seen how the Sixth Form College sector is suffering institutional fragmentation due to funding pressures (Academinsation; takeover and mergers by and with FE colleges; new college groupings being formed). This has, in turn, put pressure on national contracts, bargaining, and pay. This happened in last year's pay deal with the differentiation of SFC Academies and Sixth Form Colleges. If this fragmentation is not addressed to ensure that funding levels meet the needs of pay parity with teachers in maintained schools and that other action is taken on pay, conditions and employment, then national terms and conditions will begin to weaken and potentially dissolve as has happened in FE.
When will industrial action end?
When the Secretary of State agrees to provide a sustainable funding environment for Sixth Form Colleges to improve the pay, working conditions and security of employment of NEU members in the sector. This should include paying the Teachers’ Pay Grant to all sixth form colleges in order to support an adequate pay increase from September 2019.