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Covid-19 info for members in Wales

UCU Wales Covid-19 protocols for HE, review, May 21 [149kb]
UCU Wales: carrying out workplace inspections [313kb]
UCU Wales responds to the Welsh Assembly post-Covid recovery consultation [201kb]
[Archived] UCU Wales - Covid-19 and annual leave [386kb]
Covid-19: Wales FE early returner guidance [252kb]
Agreed FE Wales workplace return protocols [876kb] - these protocols for FE have been agreed in the national negotiating Forum (WNCFE) in Wales by the employer representatives and the joint trade unions (JTU). It is the view of the WNCFE that employer and staff should abide by these protocols to help look after the safety and well-being of all. It is the view of the JTUs that these agreed protocols take precedence over the government guidance.
Covid-19 impact on HE in Wales, LE, May 20 [1mb]
Covid-19: H&S in Wales [259kb]

Wales highlight map

UCU Wales

17 November 2006

UCU Cymru represents members in both higher and further education in Wales

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News from UCU Wales

Information Please click here for the latest FE Wales pay news

Read more on the UCU Wales news page.

Post-16 education and UCU in Wales

The Welsh government and its executive determine how much funding colleges receive each year. Because of changes to the HE funding mechanism the funding follows the student and therefore universities are very dependent on the student numbers allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council in their fee planning policy. Both funding mechanisms have to be funded by the budget available to the Welsh government.

Education policy is a devolved matter and UCU Cymru spends a significant amount of time and energy ensuring that all politicians are aware of the issues which affect UCU members in both sectors in Wales.Every college of further education and every university has a branch of UCU with branch officers who are trained to provide advice on the policies and procedures operated by your employer.

Further education in Wales


See our FE Wales pay page for the latest pay news.

Wales national contract

All colleges should have implemented the national contract by 1 September 2016. The implementation agreement [86kb] sets out the requirements in relation to staff working in colleges. See the FE agreements in Wales page for further information.

See also: Campaign to improve the national workload agreement

Manifesto priority for adult (community) learning

UCU Wales position paper on adult community learning (ACL) and the 2021 Welsh assembly election: Adult (community) learning: a manifesto priority

Acceptable student behaviour

Joint report on student behaviour in FE from trade unions in Wales: Acceptable student behaviour

Wales FE student behaviour policy, Mar 21 [325kb]

Education Workforce Council

The professional body for the education workforce, including FE lecturers, came into force on 1 April 2015. Information on the aims and purposes of the EWC can be found here: UCU Wales branch officer briefing on the Education Workforce Council Wales, Jan 19 [116kb]

National pay scales in Wales

All lecturing staff should be paid on the rates laid out in the following pay scales:

  • part time hourly pay rates
  • lecturer grades
  • management spine

available from the Wales FE pay scales page.

Junior apprenticeships

Key findings of a Wales joint trade union survey relating to junior apprenticeships, including UCU's policy position: Junior apprenticeships in Welsh further education

Key member information:

Higher education in Wales

The main policy focus of UCU Cymru is to ensure that higher education is high on the agenda of the Welsh government and that strategic developments are beneficial to staff and the universities.
The minister for education and skills announced in November 2013 that he had asked Professor Ian Diamond, vice chancellor of Aberdeen University to chair a review of higher education funding and student finance arrangements in Wales. The final report was published in September 2016.
The Welsh Government issued a consultation on their proposals in response the final report in November 2016.  You can read the  UCU Wales submission to the consultation here [194kb].
Further details can be found on the Welsh government website or contact Wales press office.

Key member information:


London Economics analysis of the scale of the likely impact of the Covid-19 crisis on higher education in Wales:  Covid-19 impact on HE in Wales, LE, May 20 [1mb]

Initial teacher training

Following publication of the Furlong report into initial teacher training and education (ITT) in Wales, UCU Wales were concerned that the reforms to ITT moved rapidly ahead and, from our point of view, with very little expert practitioner input. We put together a pack of the initial information:

Review of ITT in Wales: UCU Cymru consultation response, Mar 13 [277kb]

The minister subsequently agreed to invite all 12 of the education trade unions to participate in the strategic stakeholder group formed to develop the 'approach to implementing the recommendations of Successful Futures and Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers': Wales ITT stakeholder group: minister agrees union invite, 25 Nov 15 [268kb]
The bidding process for ITT provision began in September 2016 with the programme rolled out during late 2018.

Key officers on Wales committees 2022/23

Wales Council
Chair - John James
Secretary - Paul Green

Wales HE sector committee
Chair: Russell Smith 
Secretary: Chris Graves

Wales FE sector committee
Chair: Chris Jones
Secretary: Roy McCabe

Wales NEC members
HE - Vida Greaux (Wales president to May 2022 and Wales vice-president thereafter)
FE - John James ( Wales vice-president to May 2022 and president thereafter)

UCU Cymru documents

UCU Wales election manifesto 2021

Guidance for branches in Wales:

Some wise words from UCU Wales branch reps

Recent consultation responses include:

  • UCU Cymru response: HEFCW Quality Assurance Framework consultation [18kb]: in our response, UCU Wales welcomes the move towards quality enhancement, the proposed framework lacks any mechanism through which professionals can engage around their own practice. In its absence, we are concerned that a metrics-led approach might not only lead to mission drift but also leave staff with the impression that 'things are being done to them - not with them'. UCU Wales proposes that HEFCW re-examine its framework in line with the Future Generations Ways of Working with a focus on how governance objectives and institutional practice can be re-pointed to support genuine collaborative quality enhancement. We also propose that HEFCW consider best practice emerging from Scotland and elsewhere in Europe.
  • UCU Cymru response: HEFCW funding to support race equality consultation [24kb]: in our consultation response, UCU argues that a governing bodies decision to apply for or accept a Race Equality Charter mark should be subject to a wide-ranging campus consultation involving students, staff and trade unions. We further suggest that black members of the institution should be supported to challenge and that this challenge must be considered a crucial resource in achieving an anti-racist Wales by 2030.
  • UCU Wales response to the violence against women (VAWDASV) national strategy, Feb 2022 [183kb]: sharp rises in the projected costs of living means that many more women are likely to feel trapped in abusive relationships. Similarly, evidence suggests how the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated both the level and occurrence of domestic abuse. In our submission to Welsh government's Domestic Violence Against Women Strategy Refresh, UCU argues for an approach which recognises the transformative role that education can play; both in moulding positive attitudes, disarming stigma and providing survivors with an opportunity to rebuild.
  • UCU Wales response to LGBTQ+ equality action plan, Oct 2021 [155kb]: welcoming the action focus in the LGBTQ+ Plan, UCU Wales has sought to strengthen its application to PCET settings by identifying existing good practise and occasions for positive challenge. Since oppression is experienced differently, we feel that the established principles already embedded in the social model of change must extend to different groups inside the wider LGBT community. This means that institutions must collect the data for an evidence-based strategy which embraces governance and employment parity as well as creating space for the networks which can drive long term change.
  • UCU Wales response to the race equality action plan, Jul 2021 [139kb]: our consultation response to the Welsh government's Race and Equality Action Plan was developed and agreed through structured interviews with black members, the UCU Wales equality committee, black students and people of colour who possess relevant experiences and expertise in the third and private sector. While the picture that they paint is frequently complex, there are several key take-aways:
  1. the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) must be seen as a roadmap and not an end in itself
  2. since so much depends on local implementation, the voices of black staff and students must be central to that process. However, in prioritising action, there is a difference between 'asking for solutions' and acting upon issues which people 'are telling you needs to change'
  3. whereas it can be difficult to identify any single point of departure, change from the inside (institutional process and culture) and from above (governance, funding and accountability) are all crucial
  4. given that the plan is situated in a context of multi-generational racism, failure to achieve the plans ambitions will merely reinforce the message that change is impossible. It is thus essential that the plan is properly resourced to succeed.
  • UCU Wales response: social partnership & procurement bill, Apr 21 [367kb]: the social partnership & procurement bill seeks to bring together existing arrangements under a coherent legislative umbrella. In our submission, UCU Wales argues that a successful model must future proof with changing technology and developing job roles. Identifying the need to capture HE & FE governing bodies, we further suggest the Estyn, Qualification Wales and the WJEC should also be covered by the bill. Asserting that 'public money should never underwrite workforce exploitation' and that 'new structures should not supersede superior arrangements' we recommend a number of exiting policy solutions designed to incentivise partnership and compliance.
  • UCU Wales response: Qualified for the Future, Apr 21 [572kb]: the summer 2020 assessment shone a light on the issues at the heart of our qualification system. In this response, UCU argues that the current suite of proposed GCSEs do not adequately reflect the needs of the new curriculum, learners and Welsh economy. We identify a growing debate both inside and outside the sector, evidencing issues in relation to pedagogy, inequality and parity of esteem. Reiterating our belief that an equality-led recovery cannot be built on a system of high-stake assessment which necessarily fails a third of learners, we conclude by recommending that the regulator pause Qualified for Life to enable a broader discussion.
  • UCU Wales response: remote working: implications for Wales, Jan 21 [110kb]
  • UCU Wales response: regulations to establish corporate joint committees, Dec 20 [157kb]

Click here to see all UCU Wales documents.

Last updated: 5 May 2022