Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Lambeth College have called off next month’s strikes after agreeing a deal* with the college worth over 3% in pay with additional holiday days, sick pay benefits and a reduction in teaching hours.
Union members at the college have taken 10 days of strike action since November in the long-running pay dispute. The deal will see staff receive a pay rise of between 2% and 3% backdated to September 2018, with an extra payment of £250 for the lowest paid staff.
All staff will benefit from six months’ full sick pay entitlement and six months’ half sick pay entitlement. In addition teaching staff teaching staff who are on a contract introduced in 2014 will receive an additional five days’ annual leave and a reduction in their teaching hours.
UCU members had threatened to walk out again after seeing their pay fall behind in real-terms after years of below inflation deals. The union said that other colleges who wished to avoid disruption in the future should follow Lambeth’s lead and negotiate now on pay and conditions.
The pay gap between teachers in colleges and schools currently stands at £7,000, while around two-thirds of college heads say pay is a major obstacle when it comes to attracting staff.
UCU regional official Una O’Brien said: ‘Too often colleges hide behind low levels of government investment to avoid giving their staff proper pay and conditions. This deal shows what can be achieved when colleges work with us to avoid disruption and look after their staff.
* A 1% pay award was made from September 2018 to all staff. From 1 February, all staff who were paid less than the London Living Wage have had their pay increased to this level.
In addition to this the College is offering:
- A further 1% to all staff on full time equivalent salaries of £40,000 and above
- A further 2% to all staff on full time equivalent salaries of less than £40,000
All staff will benefit from six months’ full and six months’ half sick pay entitlement
These pay awards to be backdated to 1 September 2018.
A further non-consolidated payment of £250 will be made to all staff earning a full time equivalent salary of less than £26,000.
There is an offer to teaching staff on the new contract to change the terms and conditions of their contract to include:
- An additional five days’ leave
- A reduction in annualised teaching hours from 864 to 828 (24 to 23 hrs per week)
These contract changes will take effect from the 1 September 2019.