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Nottingham College

Staff of Nottingham College strike over contract disputes suspended

Members of University and College Union (UCU) at Nottingham College are on strike for the fifth week across three campuses due to the disputes over a new contract imposed by the college. 

Kitty Howarth, the Chair of UCU branch at Nottingham College said staff had been forced to sign the contract, which had not been agreed by the Union, or face to be sacked. 

Nottingham College staff on strike outside Clarendon campus

Teachers of the college from across all disciplines said the increasing workload is “no longer bearable” and working conditions are adding “unnecessary stress and anxiety.” 

New students are continuing to come each week because the college keeps enrolling new students. Teachers have to make more plans for classes in case of IT problems and deal with unexpected issues that students bring along to the classroom on top of marking that continues to mount up, told one member of staff.

"My feeling is, if we’re not on strike anymore, we are being prevented from going back to work", said Rob Peutrell.

Liz MattewsHealth and Safety representative of Nottingham College expressed concern over the welfare of staff, and Liz Turner, a member of the Learning Development Coach Team said that the increased class groups are the main issue from the perspective of health and safety among students. 

“We have classrooms that were built for roughly 18 and there have been 25 to 26 students that I personally know of. I’ve heard that there is a class with over 30 students and students are actually sitting on the floor,” one teacher told.

Teachers talking about working condition

“Before this contract…we’ve already done unpaid overtime, and now they’re asking us to do even more and take a pay cut,” said the Chair of the Union.

In an interview with Nottingham Post, a spokesperson from the college said they have been continually making effort to negotiate with UCU and claimed that “a series of significant concessions” have been made specifically to address the issues of pay and workload.

While Rob Peutrell, the Branch Secretary at the college told, “…my feeling is, if we’re not on strike anymore, we are being prevented from going back to work.” He also said both UCU and staff of the college do not trust the senior management of the board.

Interview with Rob Peutrell

The second wave of strikes, which was originally planned for 14 days starting from 5 November to 20 November, was suspended following an eleventh-hour meeting of UCU members.

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