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Dispute at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education called off after UCU win

23 May 2024

UCU has today called off potential industrial action at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education in East London, after management agreed to demands to improve staff working conditions.

Following negotiations with UCU, Institute management and Redbridge Council has agreed to: 

  • end the use of zero hours 'worker' contracts and to move towards converting hourly paid lecturers (HPL) and learning support assistants (LSA) onto fractional contracts from September 2024 
  • raise the top of the pay scale for tutors and enter negotiations to increase the hourly rates for HPLs and LSAs 
  • 2.5% pay increase for all academic staff backdated to September 2023  
  • review pension arrangements and contracts for LSAs with a commitment to no detriment. 

The employer withdrew plans to force all existing hourly paid staff onto casual 'worker' contracts of the sort used in the gig-economy, via a 'fire and rehire' process, following a previous strike ballot in December 2023. 

However, they have been using these contracts for new hourly paid staff since 2022, without informing trade unions, thus creating a two-tier workforce within the Institute.    

UCU regional official Adam Lincoln said: 'Whilst there is more work to be done, we are pleased that Redbridge Institute management has agreed to our demands to improve working conditions for its staff. We also appreciate the efforts of Redbridge Council to work with us to secure a settlement to the dispute. Stopping a fire and rehire process, eliminating the use of casual 'worker' zero hours contracts, and securing a process to move eligible staff onto fractional contracts, is a major victory in our sector, and in the wider union movement. This agreement is a step in the right direction to improve the working lives of dedicated staff aiming to increase opportunities for local people.' 

Last updated: 24 May 2024