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.

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.