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FE fights back

FE staff in England are getting a raw deal from their employers. Workloads have never been higher while average pay packets have shrunk and the latest kick in the teeth - the recommended 1% pay rise for 2017-18 - has not even been implemented in over 40% of colleges.

And UCU has now described a pay offer for 2018-19 of just 1% from college representatives the Association of Colleges (AoC) as a 'wholly inadequate response' to the pay crisis in further education which has left teaching staff being paid £7,000 a year less than school teachers.

UCU's Sean Vernell has argued that national pay bargaining mechanisms are failing the sector.

Meanwhile college accounts show 17 college principals earned over £200,000 in 2016/17 and over a third enjoyed a pay rise of 10% or more.

UCU's current wave of campaigning for better pay and better jobs in FE means many branches are now taking up issues like pay, workload and job security directly with your college management.

After they initially stated a refusal to enter negotiations over the pay claim, the Association of Colleges (AoC) has U-turned and confirmed that they will now receive the claim aimed at improving pay and conditions.

'Pay us some respect' poster thumb Campaign materials

We also have a selection of campaign posters for you to put up around your workplace.

Making a difference:

Taking action:

Post messages of support on social media using #FEFightsBack.

#FEfightsback headlines

Please get in touch with your local UCU branch if you would like to get involved in campaigning for a better deal for staff.

Corbyn backs our FE fightback

Once again Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has leant his support to our campaign for a better deal for further education staff. As reported in the TES, Corbyn has called for funds to pay staff a decent wage and vowed to ensure the sector is not forgotten in terms of government funding. He also wrote to UCU members at Capital City College Group, congratulating them on a significant victory in winning better contracts for casual staff and a one off payment of £500 for all.

How FE can support social justice, educational access, and lifelong education

As part of UCU's FE fights back campaign, we are continuing to highlight the wider value of further education (FE).

That's why UCU has jointly commissioned research on how FE can support social justice, educational access, and lifelong education with Education International, the global federation of teaching trade unions.

Professor Leesa Wheelahan, Professor Gavin Moodie and Dr. Annette Ford, researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada are conducting this research for us. The same research will be conducted in four countries - Australia, Côte D'Ivoire, Taiwan as well as England.

To help us make the case for FE, please fill in this short survey.

If you would like to be interviewed as part of the research, please contact Professor Leesa Wheelahan.

Last updated: 17 September 2019