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FE strike action suspended

29 November 2018

Strike action planned for Wales FE colleges on 4 December is suspended after a revised offer from the employers.

The news was announced by the UCU Wales office today:

Your negotiators met with the employers' representatives yesterday afternoon. We had received a written copy of their revised pay offer a couple of hours before the meeting, the content of their letter is laid out in full below:

The FE Principals' Forum, together with their Finance Colleagues have met today to agree an offer of settlement for the current pay dispute. On the basis of the additional funding provided by the Welsh Government our amended offer for the current academic year is a differentiated award set out as follows: 

Staff cohort Increase

  • All teaching grades up to and including Main Grade 6 lecturers 3.5%

  • Upper spine (UP 1 - 3) 2%  

  • All staff on Management contract (Excluding Senior Post Holders) 1.5% 

  • Business support - (Salaries below £19,500) 4.5% 

  • Business support - (Salaries above £19,501) 2%

As you will be aware the proposed settlement is a recommendation to the individual college Boards and will ultimately be for the colleges themselves to agree and implement.

The settlement includes a decision to enter into workload negotiations should the pay award be accepted. Further negotiations will also need to address the pay award for 2019/20 and on that basis, we are not yet in a position to confirm a future award. I am keen to ask for your assistance, in genuine partnership, to address a range of pay related costs, including on the subject of workload to present the overall position for 2019/20 to the Welsh Government as early as 1st March 2019.

I look forward to meeting with you both tomorrow where I will be happy to discuss this offer, the future of workload negotiations and the setting of a pay claim for 2019/20 in more detail.

As a consequence of the offer on pay and workload your negotiators have agreed to suspend the strike action planned for Tuesday 4 December, to allow FESC on Saturday 8 December to make decisions about the ballot timetable and the proposed action on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 December.

FESC is the further education sector committee; a meeting at which all branch nominees across Wales meet to discuss strategy on policy, pay and conditions. Your negotiators are chosen from this group of activists.

Your determination to protect and improve your pay and working conditions is paying off, thank you for all your efforts. You will receive a further update after the special FESC meeting on Saturday 8 December.

Not long now until the holidays, well done!

Margaret Phelan
UCU Wales official