Lecturers at Waterlooville college go on strike

Staff from South Downs College on the picket line at the gates of the college in Waterlooville

Picture: Jeff Travis
Staff from South Downs College on the picket line at the gates of the college in Waterlooville Picture: Jeff Travis

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ANGRY lecturers picketed at the gates of a college to protest against changes to their contracts.

Around 30 members of staff from South Downs College went on strike and set up a picket line from 8am in College Road, Waterlooville.

The University and College Union say the new contracts will lead to a pay cut of around three per cent for many staff.

And they said the college had failed to address concerns about the impact of the new contracts on other working conditions like holiday entitlement.

Strikers made chants and held up placards including ‘Save our lecturers’ and ‘Fair pay in further education’.

Scott Alexander, 33, an A-level economics course manager, said: ‘Members have seen workloads rising.

‘Our working conditions are our students’ working conditions.

‘We don’t want overstressed, overworked, unhealthy lecturers coming to work. They will not be able to provide the quality education we are known for in the area.’

Sue Graham, 54, a psychology lecturer, said staff felt ‘undervalued’.

She said: ‘We have accepted increased hours, we have accepted bigger class sizes. They have made a lot of support staff redundant. It’s taken quite a lot to get to this stage.’

Mike Gaston, principal at South Downs College, said: ‘It is disappointing that strike action has been called for by the UCU Union. The college will take all necessary steps to minimise impact on our students and remain open for business as usual.

‘We have consistently listened to and responded to staff concerns and we remain fully committed to supporting our staff.’