A UCU officer reported strong support for the joint UCU and Unison strike at the College of North West London today. This was part of a joint national strike across all English colleges demanding £1 per hour extra for all.
UCU said that they are in dispute with college employers because they failed to agree a pay claim aimed at achieving a fair deal for all further education (FE) staff.
Unions claim that the £1 per hour increase is fair, reasonable and not excessive and would go some way to recover the value of pay lost over recent years.
The the Association of Colleges (AoC), however, recommended all of their member colleges to freeze the pay of staff and subsequently declined to re-open talks, despite the recent governmenrt spending review decision to protect core funding for 16-19 year-olds and adult skills would be protected.
Since 2009 Fe workers claim they have received a cut in real terms of over 17%.
FE has been hit hard by cuts and UCU and others in the sector have campaigned to defend funding. However funding cuts don't tell the whole story, colleges still make choices.On Saturday March 5th there will be a conference on Defending Further and Adult Education at SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG.
Colleges are deliberately choosing to spend less of their income on staff. Staff are asked to work harder and longer while colleagues lose their jobs and see other terms and conditions cut.
Without the ability to retain and motivate experienced and committed staff, colleges will find it hard to deliver education to our communities.
The conference is supported by UCU, NUS, Action ESOL, NATECLA and the Learning and Work Institute.
Book online HERE