FURNESS College staff will go on strike tomorrow (Wednesday) over a pay dispute with college management.

Striking workers, part of the University and College Union (UCU), make up 20 per cent of Furness College staff and say they are 'insulted' by the one per cent payrise which has been offered as inflation is set to reach almost 10 per cent.

UCU regional official Iain Owens said: "Staff at Furness College are rightly insulted that management has only offered a paltry offer of one per cent, which is a huge real term pay cut.

"Staff have already seen their pay eroded after more than a decade of low ball pay offers."

However the college has slammed the union's decision to strike on a GCSE exam day as 'impacting on the success of our young people' after asking them to schedule the strike for a different day.

Staff will be picketing outside the main entrance of the college from 8am.

The strike comes after 93 per cent of UCU members who voted in industrial ballots said yes to strike action.

Further days of strike action are planned for June 8/9 if college management continues to refuse to pay staff more.

Professor Andrew Wren, chief executive and principal of Furness College, said: “The college’s pay increase of one per cent was line with the national recommendation by the Association of Colleges and was offered by the majority of colleges in England.

“While we respect the importance of unions and we support better pay for college staff, it is disappointing that the UCU has opted to strike on GCSE English exam day, which has the potential to impact on the success of our young people.

Furness College says that the Government has agreed an 8.4 per cent increase in funding for the next academic year, but this is nearly all exhausted by the 6.9 pe cent increase in student course hours they are obliged to offer.

Mr Wren continued: “Exams are going ahead as planned and candidates must attend as per their exam timetable. We will do everything we can to minimise disruption and ask that our students carry on as normal, following any specific instructions from their tutors.”