Day of strikes as college staff and drug and alcohol support workers take part in industrial action

Dozens of workers in the borough are taking part in industrial action with two separate strike actions in pay and funding disputes.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 9:43 am
Addaction staff on the picket line

Drug and alcohol support workers employed by Addaction are into their second day of a week-long industrial dispute with the charity.

Other news: Drug dealers jailed for five years for peddling heroin and crack cocaine to borough addictsAnd staff at St John Rigby College have also downed tools today (Tuesday) as part of a row over the under-funding of the sixth form sector.

The Addaction strike, which began on Monday, is the fourth round of action for the 30 staff involved and the biggest so far.

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The picket line at St John Rigby College last month

Staff, who are supported by trade union Unison, say the charity has gone back on a promise to the former NHS workers to keep their salaries in line with those received in the health service for doing similar roles.

Picket lines are being held this week outside the Coops Building on Dorning Street in Wigan town centre and Kennedy House in Leigh.

More than 50 employees at St John Rigby College are also involved in industrial action covering 25 sixth form colleges in England organised by the National Education Union (NEU).

This is the second day of strikes at the Gathurst institution over a lack of funds for colleges, increases in lecturers' workloads and poor pay rises.

However, picket lines are not being staged today as there are exams at the college and the employees wanted to ensure students were undisturbed.

Addaction has said in response to the strikes that it is working on a solution to the problems.

Unison is hoping a change at the top in the national charity, following the departure of the previous chief executive, might provide a breakthrough as multiple rounds of talks with Acas have so far gone nowhere.

The Department of Education described the NEU's action at sixth form colleges as "disappointing".