Last week 50 staff represented by UCU, Unison and GMB trade unions took part in protests across two Leeds City College campuses – below, Nabil, a Unison member in the college gives background to the protests.
Staff members at Leeds City College, the largest provider of further education in the Leeds City Region, in collaboration with Leeds UNISON and UCU trade unions organised a joint protest outside the College’s Park Lane and Printworks Campus’ to on Wednesday 15th 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 been to invest over 36 million pounds in building a new state of the art campus at Quarry Hill but have no faith in their staff.
One member of staff commented
‘We held two very successful protests to years of real terms pay cuts. Many staff took part and received a good response from the public. Leeds City College still owe staff a pay rise they failed to pay last year We hope that the College will pay what it’s owed and we also need fair pay across FE and public services generally’
Leeds City College staff have been continually undervalued with a dire record on pay increase in the past 5 years:
2012-13 = 1%
2013 -14 = Nil
2014 -15 = 1%
2015-16 = Nil
2016 -17= Nil
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 to 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, well attended with speeches from Union representatives, inspiring hope and encouraging momentum for future workers’ victories.