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UCU campaign leads to pay deals of up to 10% at 60 colleges

29 November 2023

UCU today welcomed pay deals of up to 10% its members have overwhelmingly voted to accept at 25 college employers. These awards come on top of the 35 deals the union has already announced.

The latest set of deals include an improved offer at Bolton College after members took three days of strike action earlier this month, a 10% uplift at Tameside College, an uplift of up to 9.5% at South Staffordshire College and an 8.5% uplift at Hopwood Hall College. All the deals come after sustained work by UCU through its Respect Further Education campaign, including national and local ballots, and, at many institutions, the threat of strike action. 

UCU said the deals provide yet more evidence that a small number of increasingly isolated bosses must get back to the negotiating table, make meaningful offers, and settle. Now that Bolton College has made an improved offer, there are just seven hold-out bosses who refuse to make acceptable offers that will settle their disputes. The union is demanding commitments on workloads as well as improved pay. 

Further education received almost £1bn (£924m) in new funding this year compared to 2019 and employer body the Association of Colleges has recommended a pay award of 6.5%. UCU balloted most English college employers earlier this academic year as part of its Respect FE campaign for decent pay and working conditions and binding national bargaining agreements. UCU also surveyed its members over the summer; the results showed that the vast majority of respondents were struggling financially and desperately needed a pay rise.  

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'After a sustained campaign for better pay and conditions in further education we are proud to announce these latest pay awards, which will go a long way to helping college staff meet the cost-of-living crisis. These hard-won uplifts come off the back of our coordinated strike ballots across England alongside resolute bargaining and negotiating by our members. 

 'There are now just seven bosses who are shamefully holding and refusing to make an offer acceptable to our members. They urgently need to recognise that staff need manageable workloads and decent pay and get back to the negotiating table to avoid the possibility of further strike action.' 

Last updated: 29 November 2023