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FE unions reject pay offer

27 May 2022

The FE unions have unequivocally rejected the offer the recommendation of a 2.25% offer from the Association of Colleges (AOC) and informed the employer body that they plan to move to ballot.

The non-binding offer was made to the UCU, NEU, Unison, Unite, and GMB in a negotiating meeting on 26 May.

FE staff have suffered a decade of real terms pay cuts, which has seen pay fall behind inflation by more than 35% since 2009. The joint unions said that 'during an unprecedented cost of living crisis, and with inflation currently at a 40 year high and set to rise further, this offer is insulting'.

The joint unions claim is for a pay rise of 10% on all points with a minimum uplift of £2,000, all colleges to become accredited Foundation Living wage employers and for significant movement towards agreements on workload in colleges.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said 'the AoC's position is completely unacceptable and we said as much to them in today's meeting. We will now proceed to ballot for industrial action in as many colleges as possible.'

Following an indicative vote members in the following 33 branches received papers when the industrial action ballot opened on Tuesday 14 June 2022 (the ballot closed on Friday 15 July 2022 and the full results are available here):

  • Abingdon and Witney College
  • Bath College
  • Blackburn College
  • Bournemouth and Poole College
  • Bournville College of FE
  • Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • Carlisle College
  • Chichester College Group - Chichester
  • Chichester College Group - Crawley
  • City College Plymouth
  • City of Bristol College
  • Croydon College
  • Derby College
  • East Sussex College Group - Hastings
  • East Sussex College Group (SDC)
  • Exeter College
  • Halesowen College
  • Hereward College of FE
  • Lambeth College
  • Lewisham College - Deptford
  • Lewisham College - Lewisham Way
  • New College Swindon
  • Newcastle College
  • Sandwell College of FHE
  • South & City College Birmingham
  • Southwark College
  • Sparsholt College Hampshire (inc Andover College)
  • Strode College
  • Truro and Penwith College
  • West Lancashire College
  • Weston College
  • Wiltshire College
  • Yeovil College

Please note the following are not included at this time:
Activate Learning Group
Buckinghamshire College Group
City College Norwich
Warrington & Vale Royal College

In addition, the following FE branches were balloted:

  • Barnet and Southgate College - Barnet
  • Barnet and Southgate College - Southgate
  • New City College - Hackney
  • New City College - Havering
  • New City College - Redbridge
  • New City College - THC Arbour Square
  • New City College - THC Poplar Centre
  • New City College - Epping Forest
  • Hugh Baird College

Barnet and Southgate College and New City College (NCC) were balloted over the 2021/22 and 2022/23 pay offers--please click here for their results. As well as pay and workload, the NCC ballot covered additional incremental pay progression and London weighting at NCC Epping Forest; level up holidays and summer leave periods; and reaching collective agreement with UCU in relation to the sickness absence policy at NCC Hackney. Hugh Baird College was being balloted over a 1% pay offer and that specific industrial action ballot opened on Monday 30 May 2022 and closed on Monday 20 June; following an overwhelming vote for strike action, in July 2022 UCU members at Hugh Baird College won a pay deal worth up to 9.8%.

Last updated: 2 August 2022