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FE unions reject England pay offer

6 June 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Negotiators from the six further education trade unions, ACM, ATL, GMB, UCU, Unison, Unite representing 250,000 staff have rejected an offer from the employers' organisation, the Association of Colleges.

The offer, which included no new money on the table for workers, also provided no underpinning for the lowest paid staff and would come into effect for only ten months of the next pay year.

Joint trade union side secretary and UNISON national officer, Chris Fabby said: 'Further education staff working in community colleges across the country are crucial to ensuring wider participation in education, and it is time their pay reflected this. The AOC talk about affordability, but how will local colleges cope if our members can't afford to get to work? With inflation running at over 4% our members are struggling to make ends meet, and this offer goes nowhere near close enough to helping them.

'The Association of Colleges needs to be very careful. If they do not come back with a more realistic offer they run the risk of sleepwalking into a national dispute. This deal included no new money on the table for our members, and we reject outright efforts to undermine single table bargaining.'

Barry Lovejoy, joint secretary of the trade union side and UCU head of FE said: 'Colleges are at the heart of communities, enriching people's lives, delivering high quality education and providing the backbone for the government's skills agenda. Everyone in a college contributes to their vital and successful work and low pay is no way to reward and motivate them, especially as living costs are rising. The government must assess its priorities and put colleges and other public services at the top.'