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Lecturers vote to boycott the Institute for Learning

25 July 2011

Members of UCU today voted overwhelmingly to boycott the Institute for Learning (IfL), in a row over membership fees.

Almost 90% of those who voted, voted to stop paying their annual membership and boycott the organisation, which the union believes is 'not fit for purpose'.

The news comes less than a month after UCU members rejected plans that would have left them with a £38 annual bill for membership of IfL.

Membership of the organisation is compulsory for teachers in adult and further education, but up until this year the fee was picked up by the government. The union said that the result shows that the IfL does not have the confidence of staff working in the sector.

The overwhelming view of members who contacted the union during the ballot is that the IfL does little if anything to support their professional development and that, for the majority, any charge would be too much.

Given that the General Teaching Council, a similar body for teachers, is being axed by the government, UCU says its members do not understand why membership of the IfL remains compulsory in further and adult education.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The overwhelming view of our members, as shown in this ballot and last's month's referendum, is that the IfL is not fit for purpose. We are especially pleased with this result given the ballot was conducted right at the end of term when many staff are already away.

'Boycotting the IfL is not a decision we have taken lightly, but to be effective as a professional body it must enjoy the confidence of the majority of practitioners. This is something the IfL, in its current form, simply does not have.'

Full details of vote:
Number voting YES  8,451 (89.43% of valid vote)
Number voting NO  999 (10.57% of valid vote)


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