Fighting together for USS

In the news this week: 13 November 2015

13 November 2015 | last updated: 15 January 2016

A look back at some of this week's news.

FE lecturers strike over 'insulting' pay freeze offer

UCU members were out in force on Tuesday in a strike over pay. As reported in the Times Educational Supplement (TES), FE Week and regional press, over 200 colleges were affected by the one-day strike in response to the recommendation for a pay freeze. In a blog about the strike, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt described the pay offer as a 'real insult'.

Hundreds of members also gathered for a national rally in London, with speakers including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow FE minister Gordon Marsden talking about the importance of further education to the economy and society.

Labour estimates over a third of FE colleges could close under Conservative spending plans

Coinciding with the one-day pay strike, TES and FE Week reported claims from Labour that four in ten FE colleges could face closure if Conservative spending cuts go ahead. Responding to the research, Sally Hunt said that FE funding had already fallen dramatically and that further cuts would 'shut the door on many learners who use adult education as a springboard for improving their skills.'

Vice-chancellor pay back in the spotlight

The Daily Mail brought vice-chancellor pay back into focus on Thursday, reinforcing concerns about rising salaries and flagrant expenses spending raised by UCU earlier this year. Sally Hunt told the Guardian that vice-chancellor salaries were 'out of control' and that a national register was needed. She also expressed concern that plans within the higher education green paper to exempt universities from freedom of information requirements could be disastrous for transparency.