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Taking action in higher education

Calls for talks to avert pay row strike in further education colleges

27 November 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU has today written to the employers' representatives, the Association of Colleges (AoC), to ask for pay talks to try and avert a strike in England's further education colleges set for 3 December.

While the cost of living has risen by 17.5% between 2009 and 2013, a series of below-inflation pay offers from the AoC since 2009 mean further education lecturers have seen their pay cut by more than 15% in real terms during that period. The cut has been compounded by rising pension contributions.
Following a pay offer of just 0.7% this year, UCU balloted its members in further education colleges in England and over two-thirds of those who voted (71%) backed strike action. The union's negotiators have offered to clear their diaries in an effort to resolve the dispute without disruption in England's colleges next week.
UCU head of bargaining, Michael MacNeil, said: 'College lecturers have seen their pay fall by 15% in the past four years and fail to make up any ground against school teachers' pay, despite increasing workloads.
'Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day's pay, but this year's 0.7% pay offer from the employers was the straw that broke the camel's back. We are willing to clear our diaries to meet with the employers and hope they'll return to the table with a sensible offer and we can avoid disruption on Tuesday.'
UCU members in colleges will join their colleagues and members of Unison, Unite and the EIS in universities across the UK on strike on 3 December. Staff in universities are taking a second day of strike action over a 'derisory' 1% pay offer from their employers, which represents a 13% drop in real-terms pay for university staff over five years. More on that dispute here