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The missing millions - demanding transparency

19 March 2021

As part of UCU's Missing Millions campaign, UCU has written to college CEOs/principals asking them to provide branches with full disclosure of college finances.

When UCU and other unions joined with the Association of Colleges (AoC) to campaign, lobby and march on parliament to win more funding for further education it was always on the understanding that staff pay would be first in line when the extra money arrived.

An extra £400 million has arrived, £200 million of which colleges could have spent on staff pay. Despite colleges having extra money and the AOC promising to make a more significant pay recommendation for 2020/21 they once again recommended a derisory 1%.

For the sector to simply absorb the first increase in funding in over a decade and not prioritise the pay of the staff that marched and campaigned alongside college leaders to win it, is beyond the pale.

Put simply, college staff deserve an explanation. It is simply not good enough to apologise and say the extra money was absorbed into deficits or spent on Covid-19.

UCU now expects colleges to provide not just retrospective accounts but also management accounts and projections going forward along with an understanding of underlying assumptions and choices.

You can find out how much of the missing millions your college should have received here.

For the avoidance of doubt, UCU supports the joint trade unions' claim for a significant move towards the full restoration of pre-austerity pay and rejects the 1% recommendation as being derisory. Staff pay should be prioritised. The AoC recommendation for 2021 stated that colleges who can afford to pay more than 1% should do so.

Last updated: 7 March 2022