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The Lecturers union that is protesting over pay tomorrow, welcome Fosters observations of a lack o

NATFHE welcomes Sir Andrew Foster’s comments on the need to address concerns about staffing in colleges

A key finding in a government review of FE Colleges has been welcomed by the lecturer’s union NATFHE. Sir Andrew Foster has concluded his long-awaited review of further education.

Jon Bryan who is the Chair of NATFHE national Further Education Committee highlights some of Foster’s observations about the FE sector’s lack of investment in their own staff. In the review Foster explains:

“It is most concerning and worrying that the sector thats meant to be having a major impact on developing the nations skills does not have a good plan for developing the skills of its own workforce, so much of which is casualised or ageing.”

NATFHE, the University and College’s Union, has welcomed this statement and hopes that this will be the start of funding to properly reward lecturers in the FE Sector.

Bryan goes onto explains the NATFHE’s position on lecturers pay “Too many staff that work in colleges are on temporary contracts and those employed permanently have seen their wages drop in comparison to schoolteachers and other comparable professions. NATFHE members continually have to take strike action to try and secure decent conditions and pay. College employers have done little to help the situation ““ it is hoped that this report will change government thinking and priorities and start to reward staff in colleges with fair pay.”

Lecturers from across the North-East will be on strike on Wednesday 16th November in protest at a pay offer of just 2.8%. Jon Bryan, who works as a Sociology lecturer at Newcastle College, will be one of the many lecturers travelling down to Birmingham to protest when Ruth Kelly gets up to speak at the Association of Colleges conference.

Bryan explains the reason for the Ruth Kelly protest at the AoC conference tomorrow: “For too long this government has said that it will do something about lecturers” pay, without delivering on its promises. Union members have voted overwhelmingly to take action on this issue because they are angry with the failure of both the government and college employers to take lecturers pay seriously. Staff routinely leave colleges to pursue better paid work elsewhere, and that is not good for anyone.”

“This is a day of disruption and protest aimed to raise the issue of low pay in colleges and to show the anger of our members. Whilst students will suffer by losing a day’s teaching, the long term interests of students are best served by being taught by well-paid, motivated staff. That is something that NATFHE are committed to ““ we invite the Government and College employers to sign up to this as well.”

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