LECTURERS at Bradford College are set to walk out next week in a dispute over pay.

Members of the University and College Union at the college will be taking strike action for two days from Wednesday, November 28.

The UCU has said the strike is over a “failure of colleges to make a decent pay offer to staff who have seen their pay decline by 25 per cent over the last decade”.

It claimed college teachers get paid £7,000 less than school teachers.

A Bradford College spokesperson said it is continuing to talk with the union, and it “deeply regrets any disruption caused to students”.

In a recent ballot held by the UCU, 89 per cent of members at Bradford College who voted supported industrial action.

Staff will be on the picket lines from 8am on both days outside the David Hockney Building in Great Horton Road.

The UCU said: “Low pay is bad for staff, students and colleges.

“Around two-thirds of college heads said pay is a major obstacle for them when it comes to attracting staff.

“A report comparing international further education systems warned that cuts in English further education have weakened colleges, and that staff had not received a pay rise for an ‘unconscionably long time’.”

Staff in Bradford will be joined by six other colleges across the country in the strike, with teachers at Bath College, Croydon College, Lambeth College, New College Swindon and Petroc in Devon also walking out.

Ballots at a further 26 colleges will also be opened on the first day of the strike, to see if those colleges also want to take industrial action.

Julie Kelley, UCU regional official, said: “Our members do not take strike action lightly but feel they have little choice having had enough of increasing workloads while their pay has been eroded.

“The government must take the blame for the failure to invest in further education, but colleges can and must do more to support their staff.

“With more ballots set to open, strikes are likely to continue in the new year unless colleges show that they are at last prioritising their staff.”

A spokesperson for Bradford College said: “The college has been notified that UCU is calling on its members as part of a national campaign to take part in a two-day strike over pay on Wednesday, November 28, and Thursday 29.

The college deeply regrets any disruption caused to students by this action and is doing its utmost to minimise the impact it will have on learning.

“Students will be informed if there are any changes to timetabled sessions.

“We are continuing our dialogue with the union in the hope we can avoid strike action.”

A strike over job cuts was due to take place at the college in May over a potential 75 job losses, but was called off following talks between the college and UCU.

And in March the college was issued with a financial notice to improve by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, after a paper accidentally published by the Department for Education revealed last December it had to provide £3 million of financial support to the college.