August 28, 2008
Lecturers in Threat to Strike
By BEN TURNER
LECTURERS at one of Merseyside's biggest colleges are threatening to boycott lessons in a pay row.More than half of the 285 lecturers at Bootle's Hugh Baird college could walk out as soon as October if bosses do not bring in a nationally-agreed pay scale recommended by the Association of Colleges.
Union chiefs argue the structure brings lecturer wages more in line with school teachers, and that the centre, which has 7,000 students, was getting a reputation as "a training college for teachers" due to high staff turnover.
A crunch meeting between the University and College Union (UCU) and college bosses takes place tomorrow.
If there is no progress, lecturers will ballot for strike action, likely to last longer than one day.
It could also include an overtime ban or refusing to teach certain lessons.
UCU North West spokesman Colin Gledhill said: "This means a teacher with a full certificate of education who has worked at Hugh Baird for six years can get up to pounds 7,000 a year more by going to a college down the road.
"Over the past five years, one department has seen 30 members of staff leave."
A college spokesman said Hugh Baird "shares UCU's wish to resolve any issues as amicably and as quickly as possible".
The spokesman added the college "has also consistently paid above the national recommended pay increase for many years".
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