From education to employment

Latest Offer from Colleges to Lecturers to Go Before UCU Members

An improved pay offer is to be put before college lecturers as the attempt to come to a settlement on the pay deal continues.

The latest offer represents a rise of 3% in total over the two years of the deal. The first part of the deal, representing a payment of a 2% increase, would be payable from the 1st of August 2006, which date is only a month and a half away. As such, it would seem that this could represent the last round of negotiations before that deadline falls.

New Union’s Latest Test

The lecturers are now members of the University and College Union (UCU), the new union following the merger of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and NATFHE, the University and College Lecturers” Union. The new union has been in action from the 1st of June, and has already been involved in the potential settlement of the university lecturers” strike after the offer of a 13% increase was deemed acceptable for membership consideration.

Following on from this, and following a meeting at which the latest Association of Colleges (AoC) offer was put forward, the UCU’s Further Education Committee met to decide if the new offer held sufficient potential for their membership to consider it. The pay offer ““ the second stage of which would entail a further 1% increase payable on February 1st 2007 ““ marks a significant improvement on the initial offer of 1.5% in total. This was labelled a “slap in the face” by then ““ NATFHE Head of Colleges, Barry Lovejoy.


The UCU FE Committee has voted to put this forward to their members as they believe that this is as good an offer as will be forthcoming through negotiations. The issue of pay for FE college lecturers has become a long standing grievance and has seen repeated industrial action taken by lecturers. The most recent instance of this came in November 2005, and coincided with the visit of Ruth Kelly MP, then the Secretary of State for Education, to the AoC Annual Conference in Birmingham.

The pay deal also marks a move towards redressing the balance regarding the pay of school teachers with the pay of lecturers. Speaking of the pay deal, Barry Lovejoy ““ now Head of Colleges for the UCU ““ said: “There have been some hard negotiations since the initial 1.5% derisory offer in March. We are now pleased to be in a position to put an offer to members for their consideration.”

The choice will be made and the result announced on the 14th of July. At present, the choice would appear to be simple: either the lecturers accept the pay deal in front of them, or they do not. If they do not, then the sector must brace itself for more industrial action.

Jethro Marsh

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