By Ciara Rainey
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at every Further Education college in Northern Ireland staged a one-day strike on the 24th March. The UCU cites issues with pay and workload, and only receiving a 3.8% pay increase over the last seven years.
Attempting to shirk responsibility, DUP Economy Minister Diane Dodds claimed the union rejected a pay rise. Hitting back, however, the UCU pointed out that the offer would still be a real-term pay cut, and that the Department for the Economy has continuously refused to increase funding, making it impossible to fairly pay workers.
Thousands of students in Northern Ireland are reliant on these Further Education colleges. Staff being overworked and underpaid will have an impact on these young people. Staff and students should come together to fight for the investment and change which they both require.