UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: “The colleges only have themselves to blame for today’s disruption. The staff are not greedy; they are merely asking for the money they should have been paid four years ago. It is the intransigence of the ‘IOU colleges’ that has pushed members' patience too far and forced them into today’s industrial action". News of the strikes featured on BBC Radio Sheffield, where UCU Regional Official for Yorkshire and Humberside Russ Escritt was interviewed. There were also reports on Trax FM, and Rother FM , and in the following publications:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/7960320.stm - BBC News website
http://www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk/news/College-lecturers-go-out-on.5107847.jp - South Yorkshire Times
http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/headlines/Lecturers-strike-hits-students.5110607.jp - Sheffield Telegraph
On the eve of the strike, there was good news as members at Sussex Downs College voted overwhelmingly to lift the threat of strike action following management agreement to open talks on implementing the 2004 pay agreement. Only a handful of the original 18 target colleges are now still outstanding and UCU is now planning the next phase of the campaign to ensure that the last remaining colleges are brought on board and to widen the campaign out.