Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/1935||
FE pay in England
In England the vast majority of colleges are members of the Association of Colleges (AoC), an employers' organisation which negotiates with UCU and other recognised trade unions (UNISON, ATL, ACM, T&G and GMB) in the National Joint Forum (NJF) to produce recommendations on pay and conditions for individual colleges to adopt.
Defend pay, defend education. UCU recommends REJECT the 1% pay offer and campaign for more
At the third and final meeting of the National Joint Forum for the 2014/15 pay talks, the Association of Colleges made a revised full and final offer to the Joint FE Trade Unions on 18 June. A previous offer of 0.7% was rejected by all the unions at a meeting in May.
The final offer:
· deletion of the bottom scale point 4
· 2% increase in scale point 5 to bring it up to the living wage £7.65
· 1% increase on all points above point 5
Our claim was for a £1048 flat rate increase or 3% for our members, whichever is the higher. In response to the joint trade union's claim for safeguarding (protection of wages for staff negatively affected by a change of role through restructuring) for three years, the AoC considered this too restrictive for colleges. It was suggested that NJF officers meet to scope a joint working group on this.
UCU Further Education Committee recommendation
FEC met on 27 June to consider the offer and made the following decisions on pay:
· To consult all UCU FE England members over the AoC's full and final offer;
· RECOMMENDS MEMBERS to REJECT the offer and provide this briefing note including a full explanation of the consequences of voting to accept or reject;
· Call branch meetings on the pay offer accompanying the member consultation period;
· Set out a credible strategy for further national strike action commencing in autumn;
· If possible to coordinate this action alongside other unions like the NUT, Unison and others;
· To prioritise the TUC demonstration on 'Britain needs a pay rise' on 18th October, and to actively encourage all members to attend.
Why should I vote to reject this offer?
In the last five years FE pay has fallen behind inflation by 16%, a real terms pay cut of over £5,500 per year for most lecturers. At 1% this year's offer does nothing to address the years of cuts, it simply adds to the problem. It is below inflation so it is yet another cut in real pay for staff in FE. 1% is the thanks shown to staff exhausted by endless rounds of redundancies and restructures and straining under increased workloads. In contrast, Principals received increases on average three times the size of those they offered their staff in the last four years.
Now is not the time to accept another pay cut. There is the prospect that we could join with school teachers and other government workers who are building for coordinated action in the autumn. It has been announced that Council workers are to strike on 14 October. They may be joined by other public sector workers. If members vote to reject then it is likely that the Further Education Committee will vote for a national strike on that day.
IF A MAJORITY OF MEMBERS VOTE TO REJECT:
· UCU will reject the AoC's final offer of 1% and remain in dispute with English colleges on pay
· You will be called upon to take part in an escalating programme of strikes at a national level co-ordinated with other public sector and targeted strike action within a national framework
IF MEMBERS VOTE TO ACCEPT:
· UCU will accept the AoC's final offer of 1% and the union will no longer be in dispute with English colleges on pay.
The ballot opens on 1 September and closes at 12 noon on Wednesday 10 September
2014-15 pay claim
UCU rejects 0.7% pay offer
UCU has rejected a 0.7% pay offer and told England's college bosses to come back to the negotiating table with an offer that addresses members' falling pay over recent years.
Lobby of employers at 16 May pay meeting
Members joined a national lobby of the employers' body, the Association of Colleges (AoC) as they met the unions for pay talks on 16 May.
No offer made at opening pay talks
Disappointingly, the Association of Colleges (AoC) insisted they were unable to make an offer on the day. However, they gave a commitment that they would bring an offer that was 'without strings attached' to the next meeting of the NJF on 16 May. The AoC also said they were sympathetic to the call for a Living Wage but need to consult further with their members.