Staff at Petroc in Barnstaple took to the picket line yesterday (Wednesday) as part of an ongoing dispute over pay. Members of the University and Colleges Union and Unison campaigned after the Association of Colleges recommended a pay freeze for the academic year. Trade unions had previously called for an increase in pay by £1 an hour for all college staff. Myles McDonald, chairman of Petrocs UCU branch said: Since 2009, further education lecturers pay has fallen by 17% in real terms. Staff morale is at an all time low as redundancies and efficiency gains impose more work on staff that are left. Successive government policies and reduced funding of further education has left the sector decimated and staff contracts, terms of service and pay has become a focal point resulting in this action. Members of the two unions initially went on strike in November last year, five months after the pay freeze was first announced. The new action comes after the AoC declined to reopen talks with unions.