Members working in further education in England have been getting a raw deal from their employers for too long. See how FE IS FIGHTING BACK!

A new approach to collective bargaining in English further education  sector

UCU is now approaching collective bargaining in further education in England in a new way. Read why the new approach is necessary, what it offers and how you can get involved: National Plus in FE

#RebuildFE

FE pay in England

In England the vast majority of colleges are members of the Association of Colleges (AoC), an employers' organisation which negotiates with UCU and other recognised trade unions (UNISON, NEU, UNITE and GMB) in the National Joint Forum (NJF) to produce recommendations on pay and conditions for individual colleges to adopt.

Pay headlines

2020-21 campaign launch event

UCU wrote to college CEO/principals requesting that they call on the AoC to recommend a pay increase this year in line with the joint trade unions' claim: UCU letter to FE England CEOs, 24 Nov 20 [210kb]

Andrew Harden, UCU head of further education, told branches: 'We know that FE will be called upon to play an historic role in the nation's post-pandemic recovery effort. We also know that a decade of austerity has left the sector with a loss of more than 24,000 teaching jobs and a 30% pay cut for FE staff in real terms.

After years of the joint unions and the AoC campaigning together for increased funding, the government announced an extra £400 million for FE last year. The AoC said that the money would not arrive in colleges until 2020/21. That time is now.'

'UCU expects the additional funding to be prioritised for staff pay as it was intended - please do what you can to make this clear to your CEO/principal', he added.

Watch back: FE pay campaign webinar

Restoring your pay: join the launch of the UCU 2020-21 pay campaign

This week UCU wrote to the Association of Colleges to demand that they put staff first in line for the new funding which the government has announced for the sector. We've recently seen the first meaningful injection of money to a sector that has suffered massive cuts in the last ten years, and it's time for colleges to start restoring your pay to its pre-austerity levels.

Joint union claim 2020-21

The joint unions have said colleges must deliver on their promise to increase staff pay and bring contracted staff back in-house now the government has provided further education an extra £400 million funding. The Association of Colleges, which represents English colleges, had previously said any staff pay increase was contingent on increased government funding.

The joint unions' claim for 2020/21 has been sent to the employers' body, the Association of Colleges. The claim, from UCU, GMB, NEU, Unison and Unite, calls for:

  • a significant move towards the full restoration of college pay levels to where they would be had college pay kept pace with inflation since 2009
  • the living wage, calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, to be the minimum wage in the sector, with all further education colleges in England becoming accredited living wage employers with the foundation
  • all contracted-out services to be brought back in-house with improvements in terms and conditions equal to those already directly employed by the college.

The claim also calls for all elements to be backdated to 1 August 2020 in line with the normal anniversary date.

You can read the full claim here. [194kb]

Further education and schools pay gap

This week it was announced that school teachers are to receive a well-deserved pay rise of 3.1% but UCU has called for action to address the pay gap with further education (FE) lecturers which is set to rise to over £9000 a year. In this Tes article UCU's head of further education Andrew Harden said: 'Nobody would begrudge our brilliant school teachers a pay rise... but the pay gap highlights again that further education needs more than warm words if it is going to play its vital role in our economic and social recovery.'

Campaign to win on FE pay in 2020

For the first time in a decade, 2020 is the year that more money arrives in the FE sector in England. However we know there is no guarantee new money will end up in staff pay packets if we don't fight for it. UCU has written to all college branches in England to advise of the next steps in the campaign to win on FE pay in 2020.

National Plus in FE

Looking at UCU's strategy for better bargaining in English further education.

FE England: 2018-20

Pay news for members working in FE in England.

FE England: 2017-18 pay round

Information on the 2017-18 national pay round for English colleges.

FE England: 2016-17 pay round

Information on the 2016-17 pay round for English colleges.

FE England: 2015-16 pay round

Information on the 2015-16 pay round for English colleges.

FE England: 2014-15 pay round

Information on the 2014-15 pay round for English colleges.

FE England: 2013-14 pay round

Information on the 2013-14 pay round for English colleges.