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Respect FE: UCU ballot opens next week

31 August 2023

I want to talk to you about pay in our colleges.

This year, despite the further education sector receiving millions more in funding, the Association of Colleges (AoC) has so far refused to recommend any uplift to your pay whatsoever. However, a new report by UCU shows that principals increased their pay by four times the rate recommended by the AoC. With 26 principals receiving pay rises of over 10%, and one principals total package rising to an eyewatering sum of £360,000.

If it was not already clear, it is now undeniable: 

  • the AoC, by failing to even recommend a pay rise for you in the middle of a cost of living crisis, is not showing you respect
  • your principal, by prioritising their own pay over yours and not addressing your unmanageable workloads, is not showing you respect
  • the government, by committing to 6.5% pay rises for school teachers but nothing for you, is not showing you respect.

It is time for us to demand and win not just better pay, but the respect you deserve.

From Wednesday 6 September you will be receiving a ballot in the post for industrial action over pay, workloads and to call for binding national negotiations. I need you to join tens of thousands of other staff in further education (FE) and vote YES as soon as you receive that ballot. UCU has been successful this year in winning locally in FE in England, but we now need to act collectively. 

Over the coming weeks you will be hearing much more from me on our plans to get everyone voting in this important ballot, and the crucial role you have to play. Please start talking to your colleagues now about the campaign, if they are not members get them signed up, and make sure that they vote YES as soon as they receive their ballot. 

Please also attend our online ballot launch event on Tuesday 5 September at 19:00 on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

In solidarity 

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 27 September 2023