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St Helens College lecturers join national strike
12:36pm Wednesday 4th December 2013 in News
LECTURERS in St Helens went out on strike over a pay dispute and what they claim are worsening working conditions.
They were joined on Tuesday (December 3) by a handful of students on the picket line outside St Helens College.
The University and College Union claims that lecturers nationally have seen their pay fall in value by 15 per cent over the last four years.
Speaking outside the college the lecturers said that this amounted to a loss of around £5,000.
Three students Emma Blemings, Kelly Marks and Michelle Allen who are studying Teaching and Humanities said they felt so strongly about their lecturers’ cause that they felt compelled to offer their support.
They said: “We have only been here a few months but they always go that extra mile. They are supportive and will help in their own time.
“We are also on a teaching course so this could be our future. It’s important to us.”
Union bosses say that morale is extremely low among lecturers and claim that “college leaders” offered a 0.7 per cent pay rise this year on condition that they accepted management’s right to tear up national agreements on working conditions.
They apologised for disruption to classes but insisted that they were “standing up for each other”.
The lecturers admitted that further strike action cannot be ruled out as there is little movement at national level between union chiefs and college bosses.
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