UCU demands pay increase and extra annual leave for further education staff

26 May 2019 | last updated: 4 June 2019

UCU says colleges cannot shirk their responsibility to their staff and hide behind government cuts when it comes to pay and conditions.

UCU has called on colleges to deliver a pay rise and extra annual leave for further education staff. The unions have  formally submitted their joint annual pay claim to the Association of Colleges (AoC), which calls for:

  • £1 extra per hour for all staff
  • the living wage to be the minimum wage in further education
  • an additional five days' annual leave per year.

The claim would deliver a 4.8% rise for an experienced further education lecturer and ensures the lowest paid will receive the largest proportional rises.

The union's head of further education Andrew Harden told delegates at the union's annual congress that colleges could not shirk their responsibility to their staff and hide behind government cuts when it came to pay and conditions.

Andrew Harden said staff were fed up with being told that nothing was possible unless the government came to the rescue. The union said it was simply not true that colleges could not work with it on pay, conditions, workloads or job security.

This year's claim comes on the back of waves of strikes across England that saw a number of deals agreed to deliver pay increases and better conditions. UCU warned unless the AoC responded positively to the claim, there could be another year of industrial disruption after the summer.

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: 'This pay claim addresses the problem of declining pay in further education and provides the largest lifts for the lowest paid. We hope the AoC engages positively with us now otherwise we could see another year of industrial unrest.

'This year should have taught colleges that they mustn't wait until strike action to deal with us. Colleges who don't try and hide behind government failings, but instead engage with us on the pay and conditions of their staff will receive a positive hearing.'

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