TCAT staff on strike in pay row
More than 80 staff at a Telford college went on strike today in support of a national dispute over pay.
Lecturers at Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) are among University and College Union members demonstrating outside the Haybridge Road campus.
They claimed today marked the biggest support for a strike in 20 years.
The action was being taken over claims that employers have failed to offer pay rises that match inflation.
Protest organiser Peter Grue said that nationally lecturers have seen their pay fall in value by 15 per cent over the last four years based on lower than inflation offers by employers the Association of Colleges.
He added that lecturers at TCAT have received no consolidated pay increase over the same period so the figure is actually greater.
Mr Grue, added: "The Coalition Government and college leaders are full of warm words about valuing the role that lecturers play in our communities. But at the same time, they're quite happy to see the teaching staff working harder and taking home less money to their families every year."
The secretary of UCU at the college, Simon Bruce-Jones, apologised to students affected by today's strike.
He added: "We regret any disruption caused by our action. "We wish we didn't have to go on strike, but we feel we have no alternative.
"We are thinking about both our futures and our students' futures."
Universities and Colleges Employers Association, which represents employers, said it was ''disappointed'' with today's strike.
It has said that, on top of the one per cent general pay rise, manystaff get other contributions which will increase pay by three per cent overall.
UCEA said that, according to the latest available data, 378,250 people work in the college sector and of these only 29,538, or 7.8 per cent, voted. Around 17,800 voted in favour of strike action.
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