Teachers at London’s largest college group have launched an eight-day strike amid a dispute over pay and working conditions.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Capital City College Group (CCCG) walked out yesterday across London’s biggest college group’s four sites across the city.
Negotiations have broken down over the college’s offer of a pay award between 4 per cent and 6.5 per cent, beginning from January 1 this year.
The union says the offer goes against the Association of Colleges recommendation last September of a 6.5 per cent pay award from the start of the 2023/24 academic year.
Staff are also disputing the working conditions such as workload as well as a maximum class size of 20 to 22 students as opposed to classes of up to 30 students, as some workers report.
They are also demanding an agreement of 36 teaching weeks per year.
College workers will walk out from January 16 to 18, and the entire week beginning January 22 – during a busy period for exams and during the first few weeks of new CEO Angela Joyce’s tenure.
The strike will impact the group’s sites in Enfield, Camden, Finsbury Park and Westminster.
The staged walkout is not new for the large college group. In 2021, staff walked out for 10 days and settled on a one-off payment and notified monitoring of teaching.
Before the end of the 2021/22 academic year, staff then agreed to a 9 per cent pay rise for those earning under £30k, and 6 per cent for those earning between £30k and £45k, beginning August 2022.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Our members are being forced to take sustained strike action because CCCG would rather see its staff use foodbanks than make an acceptable offer.
“We have reached deals at 60 colleges, but CCCG is shamefully holding out and refusing to negotiate. It urgently needs to get back to the table, recognise that staff need decent pay, and settle this dispute.”
A Capital City College Group spokesperson said: “The 2023/24 pay award for all CCCG staff ranged from 4 per cent to 9 per cent, with part of the award unconsolidated and the larger part consolidated. This action is primarily linked to workload, namely class sizes and the number of teaching weeks. We hope UCU will work more constructively with us to resolve these matters.”