3 Solid Days of Strike Action

Bradford UCU members took another 3 solid days of strongly supported strike action this week to continue to pursue their claim for fair pay. These were the 7th successful days of nationally supported strike action for members who have seen their wages decline by 25% in the past 10 years.

The atmosphere on the picket line was one of determination and solidarity with members swapping tales of unrealistically high work loads, ludicrous deadlines, ineffective micro management and discontentment with the senior executive’s lack of willing to enter into meaningful negotiation until AFTER the strike.  Members care deeply about the College and their students, therefore the disingenuous and dismissive response from the exec has shocked members who are alarmed that there have been no attempts to find a solution and bring strike action to a close.

The pickets were well attended on all 3 days. We had music, singing and even some dancing to keep our spirits high and our resolve strong. Alongside Bradford College UCU members, picket line dogs and student supporters; delegates from Sheffield, Leicester, Leeds, Liverpool and Bradford Universities to name but a few, attended to show their solidarity. Our colleagues in the University sector are all too aware of the power of strike action after taking 14 successful days of action last winter to protect their USS pension scheme. Their solidarity was welcomed!

Our campaign even made the news, with features on BBC Look North, Pulse Radio, Sunshine Radio and the Yorkshire Evening Post!!


Thursday was the big raffle draw with 4 delicious chocolate prizes being won and over £200 raised for the strike fund. Thank you to all who took part and congratulations to our winners. It could be you next time!

Is this your ticket? This bunny needs a home but we couldn’t read the name on the ticket. Get in touch otherwise the branch committee may well be having rabbit pie at the next meeting…

Friday was the big day with supporters from all over Bradford and beyond visiting the picket line to give us their messages of support. They can see the essential role the College plays in the Bradford Community and the importance of paying fair wages to keep and attract dedicated and quality members of staff. Staff who are not overworked and underpaid for their labour.

Bradford College UCU sincerely hopes that the exec team will take head of the huge support we have had over the strike and take on board members need for meaningful negotiation on this important issue that is not going away.

A message from our Secretary Geraint Evans

Imran Hussain MP giving a message of solidarity to UCU strikers.

Solidarity from local Councillors

So with 7 days of strike action under our belts and still no pay rise, members may be thinking what next.  Our AGM and classes closed branch meeting will be on Wednesday 3rd April. Please make every effort to attend this as important decisions will need to be made. We all saw the figures insensitively banded about on TAP day regarding staff cost reductions but with no accompanying explanation. We need to stay strong and be ready for further attacks on our job security, pay and conditions. We have demonstrated that we have a really strong branch in Bradford. We need to keep the fight going to defend education, defend jobs and fight for fair pay in FE

Thank you to all who came to the picket lines, it really is important to show our strength to the College leadership team.

This list is not exhaustive but special thanks to the following:

Imran Hussain MP

Joe Wheatley, former Bradford College student and local young member of the GMB

David Harvie, Leicester UCU

Jo McNeill from Liverpool University & Jo Grady from Sheffield University who are both worthy candidates to be running for the position of General Secretary to the Union. 

Jo Pike Labour Party candidate for Shipley

Brian Hamilton from prison education and the NEC

Richard Dunbar, local Labour Councillor

Leeds University UCU or the tireless support from day one of our strike. They have turned up to every picket line, lent us their PA – invaluable for all that singing and speeches of course! Plus they have generously donated money to our strike fund.

Thank you, in solidarity

Bradford College UCU