UCU hits out at compulsory fees for FE lecturers

11 February 2011

UCU today hit out at plans to more than double membership fees for the Institute for Learning (IfL) from £30 to £68 and to transfer the cost from the state to the individual lecturer.

Membership of the IfL is compulsory for lecturers in further education but, in the main, the costs had previously been covered by the government. From April, UCU members will be forced to pick up the new £68 fee, which comes at a time when staff are already facing pay cuts and attacks on their pensions.
UCU warned that move would provoke considerable anger amongst its members, many of whom have already questioned the benefits of IfL membership, despite the fact that it is currently free. A UCU report looking at IfL members' views on the professional body's work, its usefulness and its value for money will be released next week.
UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: 'At a time when lecturers' income is under pressure – with a pay rise of just 0.2 per cent and the prospect of imposing pension contribution increases on them – they are now faced with a bill for a body they are required to join, but many feel they don't benefit from.'
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'College staff are highly professional people who make a vital contribution to our society and economy.  It seems extraordinary that at a time when we need to be prioritising education, the government is making it more expensive for teaching staff to belong to this compulsory body. UCU is considering all its options and will be responding robustly to these iniquitous and unfair proposals.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015