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Taking action in higher education

2008-09 FE pay claim backed by call for industrial action

30 January 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU, with other unions in further education, has submitted a joint pay claim for 2008-9 calling for a 6% increase or £1500, whichever is the greater.

UCU members in FE are being asked to support industrial action on 24 April in support of our pay claim, if there has been no acceptable response from the employers. The National Union of Teachers is currently balloting for strike action on that day in support of its pay claim.

UCU is demanding that the 2008-09 pay claim must take account of the shortfall UCU members have suffered this year. The 2007-8 pay dispute remains unresolved.

Plans are now being put in hand to build up campaigning towards a joint UCU - NUT day of industrial action, if UCU's ballot supports action. Campaign materials will be produced shortly, a recruitment week is planned for early March and a week of action from 21-25 April including a one day strike.

Read the latest details of the FE pay campaign in FE News

Joint union press release: FE unions submit 6% catch-up claim

The six trade unions - ACM, ATL, GMB, UCU, UNISON, UNITE - representing 250,000 further education staff have today (30 January) submitted a pay claim for 6% or £1,500, whichever is the greater. The catch-up claim covers FE workers in England including lecturers, learning support staff, cleaners, managers, caterers, librarians, security and lab technicians, and would establish a £7.38 an hour minimum wage.

Last year many FE staff faced a double whammy when they were awarded a below inflation pay deal, which some colleges then failed to implement.

Barry Lovejoy, joint trade union side secretary from UCU, said: 'We want a better deal for FE staff which matches the rise in prices and the contribution members make to our colleges. The recommended award this year was well below inflation and an effective pay cut for staff. This claim seeks to make up the shortfall.'

Christine Lewis, joint trade union side secretary and UNISON national officer, said: 'College staff are part of a community of public service workers who are entitled to a fair pay deal and they are determined to get one. Further education is the driver for the government's skills agenda which is impossible to deliver if you have a low paid, demoralised workforce.'

The employer's body, the Association of Colleges (AOC), makes a recommendation to individual FE colleges on pay. In the past there have been problems because a significant number of colleges have chosen not to implement the agreed pay recommendation. Some even failed to offer any annual increase.


The FE pay deal for 2007-08 was 2.55% with a £500 underpinning. Made up of 2% on 1st August 2007 and further 1% in February 2008. This is well below RPI which currently stands at 4%.

FE lecturers in England are paid on average 6% less than school teachers.