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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.

Important : ImportantPay Consultation

UCU's Further Education Committee (FEC) met on 27 June to consider the Association of Colleges final offer in this year's pay talks.

FEC determined to consult all FE England members on the offer with a recommendation to reject the offer. FEC officers will further meet to decide on a timeline for the consultation which will begin in early September.

Branches will be provided with a briefing note including an explanation of the consequences of rejecting the offer and the consequences of accepting the offer and should plan to call branch meetings within the first few weeks of September to discuss the offer, FEC recommendation and briefing note.

At the third meeting of the National Joint Forum held on 18 June, the Association of Colleges made an improved and 'final' offer in this year's pay talks.

The offer:

  • deletion of the bottom scale point 4
  • 2% increase in scale point 5 to bring it up to living wage
  • 1% increase on points above point 5.

In response to the joint trade union's claim for safeguarding wages for three years, the AoC considered this too restrictive for colleges to adequately respond to the challenges of government policy, further funding cuts and the ability to adequately meet the needs of students and the communities in which colleges operate. It was suggested that officers of the NJF meet to scope how they may better support the sector in this area of work via a joint working group.

The AoC reaffirmed its commitment to an offer made at the second meeting of the NJF to joint working, lobbying and a joint conference with the trade unions defending the role of further education and making the case for improved funding in the run up to the 2015 general election.

The AoC's offer for 2014/15 is the highest offer the employers have made in the last five years but falls short of the joint trade unions' claim for 3%.

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.

Unions met with the colleges' representative, the Association of Colleges (AoC),on Friday to try and thrash out a deal. Further education staff have seen their pay fall by 16% in real terms since 2009 and must now also meet higher monthly pension contributions. The next set of talks are scheduled for Wednesday 18 June.

Read the full story here

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.

Join the campaign online by tweeting photos of yourself and colleagues with our poster. Use the hashtag #FairpayinFE - and include the AoC Twitter handle: @AoC_info

No offer made at opening pay talks

The 2014-15 pay talks opened on 8 April 2014 at a meeting of the National Joint Forum (NJF) where the trade union side  (.doc) file type icon presented their claim (.doc) [40kb]  of:

  • 3% or £1040 whichever is the greater
  • a recommendation to colleges to become Living Wage employers
  • pay protection for a minimum of three years in line with school teachers (in restructures and re-grading etc).

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.

Read more in  (.pdf) file type icon FE News 49 (.pdf) [233kb].

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