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FE pay in Wales

UCU negotiates on FE pay and conditions in Wales alongside the other relevant trade unions with the Welsh FE employers' association ColegauCymru.

Please see FE agreements in Wales for all national agreements, including those relating to pay matters.

Joint unions' claim 2018-19

Dispute ends

The joint trade unions met on Friday 15 February. The majority of joint trade union members voted to accept the revised pay offer so the dispute over pay is now over.

Members should be able to expect the backdated pay increase in their March pay.

Members vote to accept revised offer in consultative ballot

The outcome of the ballot on the revised offer is as follows:

Do you accept the employer's revised pay offer?
Yes 70.4% 
No 29.6%

Turnout 55.7%

Results are still awaited from the consultative ballots being undertaken by the other joint trade unions before a final decision on whether the offer will be formally accepted/rejected.

Employers improve offer

The employers have met with the joint unions and made the following improved pay offer:

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%

Strike action planned for 4 December has been suspended so that the UCU Wales further education committee can decide on the next steps: FE strike action suspended

Members vote for action

UCU members in 12 FE colleges in Wales have voted to take action in ballots over pay and workload. See the full breakdown of results here.

A special Wales Further Education Sector Committee meeting agreed in July 2018 to hold two industrial action ballots in September; one on pay, the other on workload. This decision came as a direct consequence of ColegauCymru's (CC) rejection of joint unions' 2018/19 pay claim; offering instead a 1% pay increase. CC have also refused to negotiate on the workload agreement or the business support staff pay scale until the issue of the pay award has been resolved.

For further details please see: Wales FE: overworked & underpaid.

UPDATE: The joint trade unions (JTUs) met on 6 November to discuss their ballot results. Only two unions were able to achieve the turnout threshold of 50%, UCU and NASUWT, who agreed to plan an industrial action time table which could start with a one day strike on 4 December allowing members to lobby the Senedd.

The Welsh government has subsequently announced that they have found the money to ensure that pay parity with school teachers can be maintained. We now await the response from ColegauCymru before making a decision on whether our planned strike action on 4 December over pay and/or workload will go ahead. Read the latest developments here.

Claim details

A claim of 7.5% was made by the joint unions for 2018-19 on 18 June 2018: 'The unions want to make it clear that we expect an above inflation pay rise to begin to address the reduction in the real value of our pay over the last decade. We will need several years of "substantial above inflation pay rises" to close the gap created by the "austerity" policy of the Westminster government. We expect a minimum of 7.5%, or £1,500 whichever is greater.'

For further details please read the June 2018 newsletter [121kb].

Claim 2017-18

The Joint Trade Unions (JTUs) submitted their pay claim for 2017/18 and negotiations with ColegauCymru began in June 2017:

Wales joint union pay claim 2017-18 [256kb]

ColegauCymru recommended a 1% increase to colleges. Although the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) made a recommendation that will result in a higher 2% increase across all scales points for teachers in Wales, UCU's Further Education Sector Committee has agreed to note the pay increase in members pay packets as they felt they would not be fair to ask members to lose a day's pay in order to gain an additional 1%. The 1% increase has already been paid by employers.

Claim 2016-17

The joint trade unions agreed to accept the 1% pay offer from ColegauCymru for 2016-17.

Wales joint union pay claim 2016-17 [179kb]

Employers response to the Wales joint union FE pay claim 2016-17 [1mb]

For more information please contact Karen Williams, UCU Wales administrator.

See also: Wales FE pay scales

Last updated: 29 April 2019