Teachers and staff at Longley Park Sixth Form College took to the picket line last Thursday to demand better pay and working conditions for employees in sixth form colleges.

This is part of a unified campaign organised by National Education Union, NEU, to “defend the sixth form college sector” which will see the college, along with 24 others across the nation, take part in strikes on 5 and 20 November.

Simon Murch, Joint Secretary for Sheffield NEU and member of the NEU National Executive, said: “This dispute will help shape the future of the sector, hopefully for the good by securing the funding needed to sustain fair pay, conditions and employment.

“This includes reversing job losses, class size increases and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision.

“Post-16 education has been the hardest hit sector for decades. Staff do not have pay parity with schoolteachers and funding is not at a sustainable level.”

A strike ballot was sent to colleges and 84% of members voted to take action across the nation. Colleges which voted over 50% in favour took part in the strikes.

NEU will be re-balloting for members in 16 colleges where the turnout was short of 50%, giving them the option to take part in the strike planned on 20 November.