Salford City College staff have been on strike this week to protest against further funding cuts to 16-19 education.

The National Education Union strikes are taking place across more than a third of all further education colleges including Salford City College after a £700 million shortfall in funding for post-16 education.

Mark Sullivan, an English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher at Salford City College and National Education Union representative, said: “I’d say we’re amateurs at this. We’re all striking for the first time.

“It’s not something we ever imagined we’d be doing. Members are worried to not be teaching and often frightened of what the consequences might be for them.”

“As a union we have reassured them that this is a legally mandated strike so there can’t be any negative consequences, but still that fear is there.

“But we just don’t think we have any other choice.

“If we don’t stand up now then we’ll never get back on the Nationally agreed payscale and who knows what changes will be made to our contracts next”

“New teachers are the ones that have been denied a fair and nationally agreed 3% pay rise. They stand to lose thousands over the years. Seriously, it is thousands.

“Support staff didn’t get the nationally agreed pay rise either and they probably deserved it more than anyone.

“We’re not saying teachers deserve more than anyone else but we only have the right to stand up for ourselves.

“But we stand by everyone else and support them. We hope that they see us out in the rain and know that we are not standing there for our own personal gain.”


Student numbers continue to rise while teaching staff and support staff posts have fallen due to real-terms cuts, putting Sixth Form Colleges under pressure.

NEU members will be taking action to reverse job losses, class size increases, and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision. They also want to sustain fair pay and their conditions and employment.


Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“NEU members in sixth form colleges have a very clear message for Government, and their anger is growing. Each day they see the effects of shameful cuts to 16-19 funding, which have gone on much longer and much deeper than in any other school sector.

“In this election we are arguing the case for education. With today’s strike, members are amplifying that message. They are telling Government and the general public that Sixth Form Colleges are on their knees. Serious investment is needed urgently to ensure that it can remain the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the education sector. Meeting the £700m shortfall for Post-16 would be a good start.

“The public are not easily fooled by warm words and empty promises. They will look closely at manifestos and carefully weigh up the education pledges of each party. They know that if you value education, you must vote for education.”


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Follow @NEU_Manchster on Twitter for updates on the National Education Union in Greater Manchester

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *