Lewisham Southwark College staff go on strike due to pay cuts

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Lewisham Southwark College (LSC) went on strike on Thursday and Friday after talks between college chiefs and staff collapsed.

LSC staff have received a one per cent pay rise in five years. UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: “The college must shoulder the blame for the disruption this week.

“Strike action is always a last resort but, in the face of repeated real-terms pay cuts and the refusal to implement London weighting, staff feel they have been left with no option but to walk out.

“We remain available for talks and are keen to get this dispute resolved, but the college needs to come back to the table with a decent and fair offer.”

The action comes just days after the college announced that it will be splitting into two separate colleges, a move which the union says must be the catalyst for improvements for staff, students and the local community.

A spokesman for LSC said: “We are disappointed that, despite an offer being made, UCU chose not to work with us to resolve the dispute.

Lewisham Southwark College and NCG [the college’s partner] remain committed to finding a solution.

“We believe our salaries are weighted accordingly, with our NCG colleagues working within London already rightly earn more than those doing a comparable role outside London.”

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