From education to employment

Landmark Move Sees College Lecturers” Pay Level with School Teachers

Welsh lecturers are to receive equal pay to the school sector, thanks to a new agreement reached between NATFHE, the University and College Lecturers” Union, and fforwm, the body responsible for FE colleges in Wales.

The final stage of the agreement has been completed this week, and marks the concluding phase of the three ““ phase pay agreement. The overall deal sees approximately £31.5 million ploughed into the pay packets of Welsh college workers. The result of this agreement is that lecturers at the 23 FE colleges in Wales will now be paid in accordance with a single, national pay scale, mirroring that of those working in the schools. This reverses the earlier state of affairs that saw Welsh colleges allocating pay individually, with all paying at a lower rate than the schools.

Part Time is Full of Good News

NATFHE recently hailed their success in campaigning for and supporting a lecturer in her fight for pay equality with her full time colleagues. Susan Birch, who frequently taught more hours than full time lecturers, was awarded £25,000 in compensation at tribunal, which seems to herald new hope for part time and hourly workers across the public sector.

The pay deal agreement for Wales offers good news for part-time Welsh college lecturers who will be paid at the same rates as their full-time colleagues. Those lecturers on short term hourly paid contracts also stand to gain, with their pay guaranteed to be determined on the same scale as their full ““ time counterparts. It will be in the best interests of the colleges to agree to the full implementation of the three year deal, as they will only receive their share of the extra funding in that event.

NATFHE Pleased at Agreement

Margaret Phelan, NATFHE official in Wales, said: “This is a landmark victory that gives college lecturers much deserved pay parity with schoolteachers, and means part-time staff in further education will no longer get second-class rates of pay. One of the reasons that we have been able to secure this pay deal in Wales is because our government recognises the key role colleges will play in shaping the future of the curriculum for 14-19-year-olds and in adult education. I would like to congratulate the Welsh assembly government for allowing us to reach this agreement and for giving us the funding to do so.”

The Head of Colleges at NATFHE, Barry Lovejoy, was similarly pleased, saying: “This deal should ensure industrial relations peace in Wales for the foreseeable future and employers and government across the border should take heed. In England, lecturers are forced to take continued industrial action because of the ongoing failure of colleges to implement a nationally agreed pay settlement. The Welsh agreement shows that there is another way. NATFHE calls on the government to face up to its responsibilities and provide ring-fenced money for agreed pay rises.”

Jethro Marsh

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