Staff at West Thames College went on strike on Tuesday over pay.

Employees at the college in London Road, Isleworth, joined a national day of industrial action (on December 3) by those working in further and higher education.

The University and College Union, which organised the walk-out, claimed it was only the second time in its history that further and higher education members had gone on strike simultaneously.

More than 20 union members, out of 74 at the college, joined a picket line outside the establishment, where branch chairman Paul Anderson said they were joined by several students sympathetic to their cause.

However, the college said there was only minimal disruption to lessons on the day, with all but four going ahead as planned.

Mr Anderson said it was unfair that pay for staff in further education had fallen 15 per cent in the last four years, during which time the cost of living had increased 17.5 per cent.

 

“Despite the Lingfield Report’s recommendation that further education pay scales be brought into line with those for secondary teachers, the Association of Colleges have offered a negligible rise of 0.7 per cent,” he added.

“Despite Government claims that the work of colleges is ‘vital’, we have seen job losses, increased workloads and reduced pay in a sector the Government relies on heavily for education, training and apprenticeships.”

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: “We are disappointed the unions have decided in favour of industrial action. Students have the right to expect that their learning will not be disrupted by such action.”