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Further education pay talks to resume next week

9 June 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

Negotiations on further education pay for the next academic year will resume next Wednesday (14 June).

UCU negotiators will be looking for an improvement on the most recent offer of 2.9% from the Association of Colleges. That offer, made on May 9, was a two-stage offer: 2% would be paid on 1 August 2006 and 0.9% on 1 February 2007. Earlier in the year, NATFHE had submitted a pay claim of 7%.

Despite on the face of it seeming an improvement on the AoC's previous offer of 2.5%, the union calculated that the most recent offer actually represented, in cash terms, less money over a year and therefore was unacceptable.

The union remains in dispute over its 2005/6 pay claim in further education colleges. In 2005/6 schoolteachers got a 3.2% pay rise while college lecturers were offered just 2.8%. NATFHE rejected that offer and held a national one-day strike last November. A fundamental feature of its pay claim for 2006/7 was that it must address the further pay deficit compared to schools created by the 2005/6 offer.

The 2006/7 claim also sought a commitment from all colleges to fully implement all aspects of a landmark two-year modernising pay deal. To date, just over 50% of staff in England's colleges are being paid in accordance with the deal. The deal has been implemented by 44% of colleges.

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