Calling all FE members being balloted: please make sure you vote today!

Look out for your ballot paper FE branch ballots now open - please use your vote

Members in the branches involved in the fresh ballots over pay should have now received their ballot paper. If yours hasn't arrived please click here to request a new one.

LOC logo Love Our Colleges - making the case for extra government funding to support fair pay and funding in further education.

FE fights back - share

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 the latest 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 has launched a 'second wave' of our campaign for better pay and better jobs in FE and 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:

  • 'Magnificent Six' strike on 28-29 November
    Six UCU branches took strike action for fair pay on the 28 and 29 November. Send messages of solidarity to Swindon New College (Stewart Fraser), Petroc College (Jane Sansbury, Cecily Blyther), Bath College (Sarah Kean-Price, Stephanie Williams), Lambeth College (Julia Roberts, Mandy Brown), Bradford College (Geriant Evans), Croydon College (Margot Hill). You can also post messages to our online 'wall of support'.

  • The following branches are being re-balloted from 28 November to 19 December 2018:
    Abingdon & Witney CollegeHugh Baird College
    Barnsley CollegeKendal College
    Bournville College of FELeicester College
    Bridgwater and Taunton CollegeMorley College
    City College PlymouthRichmond Upon Thames College
    City Lit InstSouth & City College Birmingham
    City of Bristol CollegeSouth Thames College - Carshalton College
    City of Wolverhampton CollegeSouth Thames College - Kingston College
    Coventry College (City Campus)South Thames College - Merton College Branch
    Coventry College (Henley Campus)South Thames College - Wandsworth & Tooting
    East Riding CollegeStrode College
    East Sussex College Group (Hastings)Truro and Penwith College/Penwith
    East Sussex College Group (SDC)Truro and Penwith College/Truro
    Harlow CollegeWest Thames College
    Havering College of FHEWiltshire College 
  • In October 2018 members at Lambeth and Croydon colleges both backed taking industrial action under UCU's National Plus in FE initiative, smashing the 50% turnout requirement. The branches are seeking a 5% pay increase, with Lambeth also demanding that all teaching staff revert back to the pre-2014 contract, and Croydon the fractionalisation of hourly paid staff.
  • National lobby of parliament for FE England funding
    UCU held a joint national lobby of parliament in Westminster on 17 October 2018, to make the case for extra government funding to support fair pay and funding in FE. Visit our Facebook event page for more details.
  • members at Epping Forest College joined those in Tower Hamlets and Hackney taking strike action over pay; alongside colleagues from Redbridge and Sunderland colleges, Tower Hamlets and Hackney members had already taken strike action this year, having walked out in February and  again in March
  • staff at Kirklees College voted to take action over job cuts and contract changes.

Latest 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: 6 December 2018