UCU have announced that its members in Further Education colleges across Northern Ireland will be engaged in strike action, for the week commencing 18th September. Following UCU’s announcement, NUS-USI President Chloe Ferguson commented:
“Staff teaching conditions are students’ learning conditions. Students stand in solidarity with the striking lecturers across Northern Ireland’s further education colleges, as they escalate their decade long battle for fair pay and conditions.
The cultural devaluing of further education across Northern Ireland has been made clear by the £9 million reduction in departmental funding, and the shameful 1% pay rise in both 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Looking across the water, counterparts in Scotland earn around £15,000 more than FE Lecturers here in NI. This is not just a clear sign of the undervaluation and underfunding of the FE sector in Northern Ireland,
FE lecturers play a vital role in providing quality education and training for students from diverse backgrounds and needs. They deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their work, not exploited and undervalued.
I urge the Department for the Economy and the FE employers to engage in meaningful negotiations with UCU and address their legitimate concerns. NUS-USI stands with UCU in their campaign for fair pay and respect for FE lecturers.