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22 November 2017

Leeds college workers protest poor pay rises

Nabil Ali, Leeds City College Unison (personal capacity)

Staff members in Unison and UCU trade unions at Leeds City College, the largest provider of further education in the Leeds city region, organised a joint protest outside the college's Park Lane and Printworks campus' on 15 November to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with senior managers' refusal to implement a 1% pay-rise for the previous academic year.

This guidance was issued by the Association of Colleges for implementation on a national level, but continually ignored when raised with the senior leadership team. Managers have invested over 36 million in building a new state of the art campus at Quarry Hill but have no faith in their staff.

One member of staff said: "We held two very successful protests against years of real-terms pay cuts. Many staff took part and received a good response from the public. Leeds City College still owes staff a pay rise they failed to pay last year. We hope that the college will pay what is owed and we also need fair pay across further education and public services generally."

Leeds City College staff have been continually undervalued, with a dire record on pay increases in the past five years of either 1% rises or none at all.

Workers on the ground have had enough of their rising workloads, forced redundancies and managers refusing to listen to their concerns. The joint protest organised across two of the college's sites allowed workers the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with this system, and to provide a voice for those staff who have been ignored. The protest was enthusiastic and well attended, with speeches from union representatives inspiring hope and encouraging momentum for future workers' victories.

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