College staff go out on strike over changes to pensions

Strike action by the UCU at Ashington College.
Strike action by the UCU at Ashington College.
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NORTHUMBERLAND College staff went on strike last Thursday over proposed changes to their pensions.

About 120 members of the University College Union (UCU) at the Ashington-based college manned picket lines in the morning before joining a bigger demonstration in Newcastle city centre.

The action was part of the first UK-wide strike to hit further education colleges since 2008.

Union branch secretary Mavis Taggert said: “Bearing in mind the history of how further education is constantly being attacked as far as pay is concerned, attacking our pensions is the final straw.

“You sign a contract which tells you what you are going to get you what you are going to get, then suddenly it is taken away from you.

“This is financially a sound pension scheme. People are angry.

“We are hoping that if we continue to put pressure on, then they will change their minds.”

The college declined to comment.