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Date: Tue 27 September 2011

Staff at Stow College prepare to strike over pay plans

UNISON members at Stow College will embark on the first day of their strike campaign tomorrow (Wednesday) when they walk out in a row over pay.

Support staff at the college will take the industrial action as part of a campaign to achieve the Living Wage for its members.

Staff are angry at the college’s failure to implement the measure, despite the college announcing plans to do so as part of last year’s pay deal. Workers also say the college’s decision not to give workers a pay increase will amount to a real-term pay cut and hit the lowest paid workers hardest.

Chris Greenshields, a UNISON steward at Stow College, said:

“Our members provide valuable services to staff and students at the college, but many are living on poverty pay.

“The SNP Government promised to protect the lowest paid workers from the worst aspects of the recession, yet Stow College refuses to introduce the Living Wage for our members – many of who are low-paid women workers – and on top of this, we are now facing a real-term pay cut.

“The decision to take strike action isn’t a decision we take lightly but we hope this will make Stow College think twice about their decision and decide instead to honour their commitment to fair pay for our members.”

Brian Smith, branch secretary of UNISON’s City of Glasgow branch, said:

“The management at Stow College have implemented a pay freeze, but with inflation over 5 per cent, electricity and gas prices rising by 18 per cent and the ever increasing cost of food this is in effect a pay cut and will hit the lowest paid hardest. The college has also decided not to follow the Scottish Government’s minimum standards of a £250 payment for workers earning under £21,000.

“Stow College cannot use the excuse that the pay freeze is to save jobs as they also intend to privatise some support services. In the past, UNISON members have helped to defend Stow College from attacks from the Scottish Funding Council which threatened the very existence of the college.

“The management should recognise our members’ commitment to the college and its students by treating them fairly.”


Notes to editors

1. UNISON members will be on the picket line at Stow College from 7.30am on Wednesday, September 28. This is the first day of the strike campaign. Canteen members will be on strike three days next week – 4,5 and 6 of October – and three days the week after – 11,12 and 13 October.

2. UNISON has 90 members who work in Stow College in a variety of roles including: learning support workers, admin / clerical workers, caretakers, cleaners and catering workers. Many are low paid with some earning just above the national minimum wage.

For further information contact:
Chris Greenshields on 07504 975176
Brian Smith on 0141 552 7069 or
Mandy McDowall, Regional Organiser, on 07903 846 427.
Or visit www.unison-scotland.org.uk