Strike called off at South Downs College

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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INDUSTRIAL action has been averted after a college offered workers a better deal.

Members of the University and College Union at South Downs College voted to accept a new deal.

They had been due to walk out today and tomorrow as part of strike action.

But the college offered deal with assurances over salary protection, holiday entitlement and strike pay deductions.

The conciliation service Acas brokered the deal with the college and union, leading to 91 per cent of members voting to agree a new deal.

UCU regional official, Moray McAulay, said: ‘UCU members have overwhelmingly voted to accept the new deal put forward by the college.

‘Strike action planned for this week is off and the dispute is resolved.

‘Strike action is never taken lightly and we hope to work with the college in the future to resolve any difficulties before they get to this stage.’

A ballot that opened at the start of June won 79.6 per cent backing for strike action.

The union said the college threatened to dismiss staff who refused to sign up to new contracts

It said the contracts would see pay fall and a reduction in holiday entitlement.

The college offered an improved package with guarantees over salary protection after this but members rejected this and walked out for two days last week.

This action planned this week was averted after a better deal was agreed.

Mike Gaston, principal, said he was ‘pleased’ the college could return to a normal relationship with the UCU union.