Teachers from Barnet and Southgate College are being urged to strike over low pay.

The University and College Union (UCU) already has the ballot underway and it will close on July 15.

The union’s general secretary Jo Grady and president Janet Farrar will meet with staff today (Wednesday June 29) to discuss the ballot.

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Ms Grady said: ‘Staff at Barnet and Southgate College are voting yes to strike action because they are sick and tired of being undervalued by their employer.

“The current offer of 2% is well below inflation and will do nothing to help staff through a devastating cost of living crisis.

“All of those who work in further education need to push back against a college that does not value its staff and force management to come back to the table with a better offer.’

Inflation is currently 11.7% and staff at English colleges have seen pay fall behind inflation by 35% since 2009.

The college’s chief executive Darren Mepham said the college funded an additional £500 lump sum payment this year for all staff except senior managers.

He added: “Pay for college staff across the country has not kept pace with inflation.

“Unlike many colleges we have been able to make very modest increases every year but that is not enough and it’s undeniable that the present cost of living crisis is hitting college staff hard.

“We have been open with the unions all along over our finances, the level of funding coming from the government and what we can afford. 

“Inflation in the goods and services we buy is also eating into our ability to pay a larger pay rise.

“Still, we have made the case to the government for additional funding but in the absence of that we don’t have money to pay for bigger pay increases.  

“Strike action will not magic any more money into existence. 

"Strike action will only serve to interrupt our students’ learning and will do so just as they are looking forward to a more ‘normal’ educational experience compared to that of the last few years during the pandemic.”