Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/382/4315
Lecturers strike over pay
THOUSANDS OF lecturers are taking strike action on 24 February and 1 March because management are refusing to implement a national pay deal.
These are the same bosses - the college principals - whose salaries have increased by 102% - 180% since colleges were taken out of local authority control in 1992. During the same period lecturers' pay has risen by only 30%.
This means a 10% pay gap has opened up between lecturers' and teachers' pay.
The current deal was supposed to see lecturers catching up with teachers but six months after the deal was agreed, over 70 colleges - about a third - are still refusing to implement the deal.
Since the threat of strike action was first raised, a number of colleges have paid up. A sure sign that industrial militancy works
This action has to be the start of an escalating programme of industrial action to make sure the deal is implemented in full.
The 75% vote for action shows lecturers have had enough of these bosses.
Conditions have been declining for years and on top of the erosion of pay, NATFHE members are facing huge changes to the pension scheme which will force all lecturers and teachers under 50 to work till they're 65 or lose a large part of their pension rights.
NATFHE is balloting for strike action on 14 April, as well over the pensions issue.
It is important that unity with other education unions is forged to make sure that this day is an education shutdown.
Other unions in local government and the civil service are taking strike action over pensions on 23 March.
These unions could join in action on 14 April and bring about a public-sector shutdown.
A determined stand on both pay and pensions can give NATFHE members confidence that the years of retreat and erosion of conditions can begin to be reversed.
In The Socialist 26 February 2005: