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Taking action in higher education

'Insulting' FE pay offer rejected

9 October 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Members working in further education in England are to be balloted over taking industrial action after a special pay conference rejected this year's pay offer.

The pay conference, attended by FE branch representatives from across the country on 6 October, said that the 2.55% pay offer for 2006-07 from the Association of Colleges (AoC) was 'insulting', and amounts to a pay cut. The current retail price index rose to 4.1% in August 2007.

The conference also heard that FE lecturers in England are paid on average 6% less that schoolteachers, and over a third of principals awarded themselves a higher pay rise than their staff.

The conference also considered a pre-conference branch consultation responded to by over 68% of branches covered by the pay offer. Of these 190 branches, 92 indicated that they wished to accept the offer; 82 indicated rejection of the offer; 2 branches had tied votes and 11 indicated abstention.

Branches are now preparing for a national ballot of FE members on taking industrial action.

Full text of the motion passed:

This special pay conference rejects the latest pay offer of 2.55% from the AoC. UCU FE members should not be expected to accept this insulting offer which is less than RPI (which rose in August to 4.1%) and amounts to a pay cut. Conference believes that no pay award less than the RPI in the current pay round will be acceptable.

In making this decision Conference is also mindful of the fact that FE lecturers are still paid around 6% less on average than schoolteachers, that last year 37% of Principals awarded themselves higher pay rises than their staff, and that pay awards and bonuses for bosses have reached unprecedented heights.

Conference calls on the FEC to immediately organise a nationally-aggregated ballot of FE members to determine whether they wish to instigate industrial action in pursuit of a fair pay award. The ballot form will be accompanied by material informing members of the special pay conference decision and urging them to vote 'yes' for industrial action.

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