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College Lecturers In Wales To Ballot For Strike Action Over Unfair Treatment Of Part-Time St

NATFHE, the University and College Lecturer’s Union is to ballot members in Welsh Colleges on proposals for strike action over unequal treatment of part-time lecturers. The move follows the union’s recent agreement with fforwm, the college employers” organisation, which moved to end years of low pay and inferior working conditions for part-time lecturers. However, within weeks of the agreement being signed a number of large colleges indicated that they would not be implementing the new deal in full. NATFHE is particularly concerned that Coleg Gwent, the largest college in Wales, is one of these.

The union fears that more colleges will follow and NATFHE is seeking assurances from all FE colleges in Wales that they intend to fully implement the agreement. Any college which cannot give such assurances will join the list of targets for ballots on strike action.

Recent legislation requires all part-time employees to be employed under the same terms and conditions as full time staff, and funds were earmarked to finance a new pay structure. Colleges were required to agree and implement new pay arrangements with staff unions. An agreement was concluded in January but as soon as the funds arrived in colleges individual Principals began to reinterpret the agreement.

“Colleges are coming very close to misusing public funds,” commented Craig Lewis, Chair of NATFHE’s Wales Region FE Committee. “We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister and asking her to investigate colleges that don”t implement the deal in full.” He went on to say, “Principals who continue to treat part-timers less favourably are breaking the law. We will defend our part-time members with strike action if necessary.”

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Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije

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