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Pay deal agreed at South Thames Colleges Group

12 November 2021

UCU members at South Thames Colleges Group (STCG), which includes South Thames, Merton, Kingston and Carshalton Colleges, have voted to accept a revised pay offer.

This adds to STCG's original settlement of 1.25% and guarantees a total 2% consolidated pay increase to all staff earning between £23,000 and £40,000. STCG will also pay a minimum of 2.25% for all those earning below £23,000. This represents in total a welcome investment in staff pay from STCG amounting to nearly £800,000 for the year 2021/22.

STCG is already working with the recognised trade unions to introduce a new job evaluation process and a new pay and grading structure and, as part of this work, has also committed to reviewing and improving wherever possible core terms and conditions. This includes levels of teaching hours for teaching staff, holiday allocations and changes to scholarly leave as well as other aspects of STCG's contracts.

STCG and UCU are pleased to have worked together to address the differences between them over pay levels at STCG and to have been able to engage in productive discussions that deployed the available resources in an improved settlement. Both STCG and UCU believe that it is very important that staff pay in the further education sector is improved in the years ahead and that the great professional contributions of teachers and all those who work in colleges are rewarded fairly and funded adequately.

The detail of the package accepted by UCU members is set out below:

  • 0.75% increase to all salary levels above £23,000 backdated to 1 August 2021
  • STCG has previously paid 1.25% consolidated pay increase to staff earning up to £40,000. For those staff earning more than £40,000 they received a £287 consolidated increase
  • for staff earning £23,000 or less they will receive an additional increase of at least 1% or £230 whichever is the highest. This will mean for staff earning £23,000 they will have received a pay rise of 2.25%, and higher for those earning below £23,000
  • this 0.75% additional offer would mean that for staff earning between £23,001 and up to £40,000 they will have received a 2% consolidated pay award
  • these increases to salary levels will be subject to normal deductions including pension contributions
  • all relevant changes to salary rates will be applied equally to hourly-paid colleagues
  • a commitment to review and improve wherever possible core terms and conditions including levels of teaching hours for teaching staff, holiday allocations and changes to scholarly leave among other aspects of STCG's contracts.

UCU regional support official Caroline Lake said: 'This welcome deal at South Thames Colleges Group will improve staff pay and lead to an improvement in conditions across the group's four colleges. UCU looks forward to continuing productive relationships with South Thames Colleges Group.'

South Thames Colleges Group Principal and CEO, Peter Mayhew-Smith said 'We are delighted to have engaged constructively with colleagues from the UCU to arrive at a fair, affordable and positive settlement on pay for 2021/22 and hope very much that we will see funding levels improve further to help us sustain this much-needed progress.'

    Last updated: 12 November 2021