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College lecturers accept 3.2% pay offer from AoC


College lecturers have agreed to a 3.2% pay offer for this academic year in a ballot that closed today.

In a ballot that closed today, college lecturers in England have overwhelmingly voted to accept a 3.2% pay offer for this academic year.

Nearly 89% of UCU members, working in further and adult education, who voted in the ballot, agreed to accept the offer from employers, the Association of Colleges.
At a special UCU pay conference held last month, delegates agreed to issue a recommendation with the ballot papers that the membership accepted this year’s 3.2% offer. Delegates acknowledged that the 3.2% offer falls short of their original claim for 6%. However, they accepted it was an improvement on previous offers and was one of the strongest pay offers in the public sector this year. The offer followed two days of strike action by UCU and joint union protest action.

Although this stage is over, UCU’s campaign to achieve pay parity with schoolteachers, and obtain pay awards that meet inflation will continue. The union will be meeting with other FE trade unions shortly to draw up and submit as early as possible, a pay claim for next year.

Meanwhile the union will relaunch its campaign for all colleges to implement pay scales agreed in a pay deal for 2003-4. It will organise targeted industrial action in those institutions yet to implement the new scales.

Barry Lovejoy, UCU Head of Further Education, said: ‘Our membership has accepted an offer which although below the current rate of inflation is one of the strongest in the public sector in this pay round.
‘We shall be submitting an early claim for next year but will now focus hard on those colleges who have disgracefully failed to pay up on a national deal agreed five years ago. Lecturers at those institutions are really suffering now that the cost of living is soaring.’
A well attended delegate UCU pay conference held on 20 September agreed to recommend that members accept the 2008-9 AOC pay offer of 3.2% from 1 October 2008. In the ballot of UCU FE members which followed, 88.7% of those who voted agreed to accept the offer.

A national pay deal agreed in 2003-4 introduced eight-point scales that standardised pay rates between colleges and delivered pay rises for many. To date, 48% of colleges have not yet implemented these new shorter scales.

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