The Green Party in Northern Ireland stands in solidarity with UCU members who on Monday began an unprecedented 6 day strike across all of NI’s FE colleges - a message from Deputy Leader Lesley Veronica as she joins the picket line at Millfield today.
She said, "The length of the strike refelects the depth of feeling from members who are increasingly concerned about the disparity in pay, with school teachers, university lecturers and FE colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales who are all more highly paid. It is not an easy step for lecturers to take but the time has come for FE lecturers to draw a line in the sand. In the middle of a cost of living crisis the attitude of the employers has been unacceptable.
The strike is not only about pay but also about transparency. If there is no money as the employers claim then where is it being spent? It is clear that there is an internal disparity between corporate wages and wages for those actually delivering the curriculum and this needs to be addressed.
Our FE colleges provide vital education, often to the most economically and socially disadvantaged students. This is delivered by the lecturers. Without dedicated, well qualified lecturers delivering high quality courses there would be no money at all. It’s high time lecturing staff were valued for their service, work and committment to the sector."