Strike action in higher education

UCU warns of further disruption as figures reveal falling pay in colleges

3 May 2019

Pay in further education has dropped, according to data released by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). The 2019 Further Education and Workforce Data report reveals a "decrease in median teacher pay across all providers", from £31,800 in 2016-17 to £31,600 in 2017-18.

The ETF's report also shows an increase in casual employment. The proportion of casual staff increased from 7.4 per cent to 9.9 per cent, and the number of zero-hours contracts in the data increased from 3,323 to 3,501.

UCU said the figures lifted the lid on state of pay and conditions in colleges and warned that colleges needed to engage with the union if they wanted to avoid strikes.

UCU members at colleges in London were the latest to walk out this week as part of sustained programme of industrial action across England this academic year. UCU said strike action was always a last resort but warned that if colleges wanted to avoid disruption they should follow the likes of Capital City College Group and Hugh Baird College who recently agreed deals with the union.

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: 'These figures lift the lid on the falling pay and lack of job security staff have to contend with and demonstrate why we have seen waves of action at colleges across England this year. It is not enough for colleges to say they cannot do anything to address poor pay and conditions.

'While some colleges have been hit by strike action, others have chosen to work with us to improve things for staff and avoid disruption. UCU members have been on strike in London this week and there is more action planned for later this year if colleges refuse to address these issues.'

Comments