Sandwell College staff strike in pay row
Staff have walked out of Sandwell College as part of a national dispute over pay.
Unions say the colleges have failed to honour a pay deal agreed four years ago. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) working at Sandwell are taking part in the strike action which is affecting a total of nine institutions across the country.
The union described the colleges' failure to honour the pay deal, which it said was agreed in 2004 and would have given the average lecturer an extra £4,500 a year, as "one of the longest IOUs from management to staff in the history of industrial relations".
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "The colleges only have themselves to blame for today's disruption. The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking for the money they should have been paid four years ago. It is the intransigence of the 'IOU colleges' that has pushed members' patience too far and forced them into today's industrial action.
"Nobody involved with any of the colleges wants to see industrial action and once again we ask the colleges to now sit down with us and discuss ways to resolve the issue and avoid any further unnecessary disruption.
"Flexible agreements have been agreed at a host of other colleges with serious financial difficulties to implement the deal."