Strike action in higher education

Unions say 0.5% pay offer for college staff is unacceptable

25 April 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Unions* representing staff in English further education colleges said a 0.5% pay offer made at the first round of pay negotiations yesterday was not acceptable.

The unions added that while they supported attempts to bring in a consolidated rate for the lowest paid and explore ways to achieve a sector where all staff a living wage, it was disappointing the employers were seeking to add conditions to how staff may progress up the pay scale.

The unions said the employers needed to withdraw conditions that would link progression up the pay scale to performance. Attempts to introduce a similar measure last year were rejected by the unions and subsequently abandoned by the employers.

Pay awards for further education staff in recent years:

  • 2012 - 0.7%
  • 2011 - £200 for staff earning less than £21,000 and £125 for those earning above
  • 2010 - 0.2%

The next round of talks will take place on Thursday 16 May.

UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy, said: 'We do not believe that this initial offer of 0.5% is acceptable. We are also unhappy that the employers have revisited last year's plan to link progression up the pay scales to performance. That measure was rejected a year ago and will be again. We are looking forward to the next set of talks and hope to see improvements from the employers' side.'

Unison, national education official , Christine Lewis said: 'We welcome the employers' efforts to offer a consolidated flat rate for the lowest paid staff and their willingness to further explore attempts to achieve a living wage for all staff in the sector.'

Barry Lovejoy and Christine Lewis were speaking in their capacity as secretariat for the trade union side.

* UCU, Unison, GMB, Unite and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Comments