We have learned that a small number of our staff are taking industrial action on 29th and 30th January. Whilst we are disappointed that some staff are striking, we understand the reasons why. The reality is that Further Education Colleges are inadequately funded by central government and, in fact, we recently took part in the national Love Our Colleges campaign to highlight the lack of central funding and the fact that nationally FE lecturers are not paid well when compared to other education professionals in schools and universities.
Our focus is on our students, and I can confirm that the College will remain open throughout the industrial action as we expect the majority of teaching and learning activity to proceed as usual. Staff who are working will ensure that there is minimal disruption to students’ studies and students should continue attending college as normal on the two days of industrial action.
We recognise that over the past couple of years we have been through difficult financial times, which has resulted in job losses and no cost of living pay awards. However, we have all worked hard to secure the future of Bath College and prior to the ballot for strike action taking place we had already proposed a 1% pay increase and although we recognise the limitations of the offer we believe that this is the maximum that we can afford whilst still ensuring that the financial wellbeing of the College is secured for all our staff and students.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Unions as appropriate.
Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College