Strike threat cancelled after Merseyside college ups staff pay offer from 1% to 9.8%

Hugh Baird College secures 9.8 per cent pay rise after vote to strike last month.

Hugh Baird College secures 9.8 per cent pay rise after vote to strike last month.

26 Jul 2022, 15:48

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Staff at the Hugh Baird College in Merseyside have secured a pay deal up to 9.8 per cent plus additional leave, according to the University and College Union.

The UCU said the pay deal struck at Hugh Baird College, which bests the current 9.1 per cent inflation rate, included a £2,668 uplift to the starting salary of lower paid staff.

In addition, all staff will get a £500 non-consolidated payment, and an additional three days of annual leave per year.

The union said the total offer amounted to a rise of up to 9.8 per cent.

The deal comes after UCU members voted to strike last month unless the college’s original offer of 1 per cent was significantly improved.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: “We welcome this agreement and management’s recognition that pay must improve to mitigate the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

“This deal shows what can be achieved when union members stand together and demand better. It is a testament to the will of our members and their determination to bargain for a fairer deal, and shows there is no excuse for other colleges across the country to offer real-terms pay cuts, whilst ignoring the severity of the cost-of-living crisis facing staff.”

The news comes after ballots across a host of English colleges resulted in 39 voting in favour of strike action this autumn.

The UCU rejected a 2.5 per cent offer from the Association of Colleges in June, describing it as “totally unacceptable”. That had been increased from first 1 per cent and then 2.25 per cent.

Earlier this month Capital City College Group agreed to a 9 per cent rise for staff on £30,000 or under, with 5 per cent for those on £30,001 and £45,000.

A UCU report in July said that seven in 10 respondents to its survey would seek new employment in other sectors unless pay and conditions improved.

A spokesperson from Hugh Baird College said: “In September 2021, the college launched a bold five-year strategic plan. Attracting and retaining high quality teaching staff who share our vision and our values is central to our people strategy, and has heavily influenced the shape of the pay agreement reached.

“We want our staff to feel valued and rewarded for the work they do in delivering the best possible experience for our students.

“In service of our strategy and following productive discussions with the UCU, we have reached an agreement on a two year pay settlement, backdated to August 1 2021.”

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