RELATIONS between striking caretakers and Huddersfield Technical College bosses have slumped to a new low.
A meeting between the 19 caretakers and members of cleaning staff broke down on Wednesday when bosses failed to meet demands.
The strikers want a pay rise to bring them in line with Kirklees Council staff, who they claim get £4,000 more per year.
But as the dispute draws into its eighth week a deal is no closer.
Shop steward David Ellis slammed bosses claiming they were being unreasonable.
He has vowed union members will remain on the picket line outside the college in New North Road.
"They did come up with an offer towards the end of the meeting but it was not what we wanted," he said.
"They offered to give us a one-off payment and then wait for the job re-evaluations which start in the new year.
"We took a vote and the majority wanted to continue striking.
"It has been seven weeks now and Christmas is going to be lean for some of our members this year.
"But if they are trying to starve us back it is not working yet."
And Mr Ellis claims conditions in the college must be getting worse by the day as vital jobs are ignored.
"I believe management are doing some of the jobs themselves but a lot of what we would normally do is not being done at all," he said.
"We went to the meeting with Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) with an open mind. I don't believe the management did.
"They decided they were not going to meet us and find a solution. They just want us to buckle.
"We did everything we could to help find a solution and got nowhere."
But college principal Chris Sadler said everything possible had been done.
He added: "We are genuinely saddened that the intervention of Acas has not produced a positive outcome, despite our best efforts.
"We don't believe it is fair or consistent to treat the caretakers as a special case when we have some 500 other support staff.
"We cannot meet their current expectations outside the job evaluation process but have made every attempt to encourage a return to work with offers of compensation for loss of salary during the strike and full pay during the Christmas and New Year period.
"Students and staff can be reassured the college will continue to operate normally in the New Year, despite the ongoing industrial action."