Cycling instructors set for first ever strike after 14 year pay freeze

Fri, Jun 30, 2023, 11:14 AM
  • Cycling instructors in London are going on strike on Friday 30 June for the first time ever, after 14 years of frozen pay, amounting to a 50% real terms pay cut.
  • Members of the IWGB’s Cycling Instructors Branch voted 89% in favour of industrial action, with a 95% turnout.
  • In March, TfL announced a 66% increase in funding to councils for cycle training, but a very small amount has been used to increase cycling instructor pay.
  • Striking cycling instructors will hold a protest ride around London Boroughs on Friday, visiting council town halls including Camden, Islington, Hackney and Haringey.

Friday 30 June: London based cycling instructors representing the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) will go on strike for the first time ever after a 14 year pay freeze.

The strike will take place on Friday afternoon, with further strike action planned for every week in July.

Striking cycling instructors are demanding pay restoration, a fair cancellation policy and an end to unpaid admin time.

In March, Transport for London (TfL) announced a 66% increase in funding to councils for cycle training, which instructors claim is more than enough to meet their demands.

Despite this, only one of the three cycle training provider companies in London, Cycle Confident, has offered a small pay rise of £1 per hour, which leaves instructors £9 per hour below the increase needed to reverse the freeze.

Cycling instructors are also not paid for admin time, and in most London Boroughs instructors can have sessions cancelled with as little as 24 hours notice and will receive no compensation.

Suami Rocha, chair of the Cycling Instructors Branch of the IWGB says, “The hypocrisy of London councils is on full display here.

“They talk about tackling the climate emergency with green policies, but when they’re given the funding to do so they hoard that money and refuse to properly invest in tangible solutions like cycle training.

“Instructors are leaving the industry due to unsustainable pay and precarious conditions, and councils have the power to stop that from happening.”

Virginia Cleugh, a cycling instructor based in Westminster says, “I’ve been a cycling instructor for 15 years, and in all that time the only pay rise was the measly £1/hr increase we just received a year into a cost of living crisis.

“I love my job, I take a lot of pleasure in the work I do, but if conditions continue to deteriorate like this more of us will be forced to look elsewhere for work.

“The money is on the table, it’s time for providers and councils to wake up and engage with us to find a solution to these problems.”

Henry Chango Lopez, General Secretary of the IWGB says, “Like so many jobs now, cycling instructors are outsourced and deal with hugely precarious conditions at work.

“For a long time workers have had to sit back and deal with those worsening conditions, but now we are seeing all kinds of sectors realise they have no choice but to take action to save the sectors they work in.”

For more information please contact:

Jake Thomas, Press and Communications Officer

+44 7446 625784 // press@iwgb.co.uk

Ellie Butcher, Press and Communications Officer

+44 7883 887613 // press@iwgb.co.uk

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