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Glasgow, Scotland: College staff walk out in pay row
The Press Association

September 28, 2011
View the Original Article

Support staff at a college have walked out on strike in a row over pay.

More than 40 staff at Stow College manned a picket line at the main campus in Glasgow. One of the placards on the picket line had the words "protecting paying jobs at Stow College".

The strikers, who include canteen workers, caretakers, cleaners and administration staff, are taking the industrial action as part of a campaign to achieve the "living wage" of £7.20 an hour.

The management of the college said it remains open to "constructive dialogue" but finances were being squeezed.

Chris Greenshields, a Unison steward at the college, said he expected almost all of the 90 Unison members at the college to take part in the first day of strike action.

He said: "People are enthusiastic and we have had support from other union members at the college and students. At the start of August we were due a pay increase and there has been none - there is a pay freeze. The management have not shown any urgency."

Mr Greenshields claimed there was also a threat of some of the support roles being run by private firms where terms and conditions would be "eroded".

He said: "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."

A statement from Stow College said: "The college very much regrets that Unison will proceed with the planned day of industrial action, although the management of the college remains open to constructive dialogue."

The statement continued: "As a result of this industrial action all evening and adult special needs classes will be cancelled today. Also Food on 5, Cafe Connect and the Stow West Refectory will be closed for the day. All other classes should continue as normal."