UNISON urges FE members to reject pay offer

UNISON is urging members working in further education to reject a 1% pay offer from the Association of Colleges.

The union’s further education committee noted that the offer amounts to a pay cut in real terms – prices measured by CPI inflation are increasing by 2.9% according to the latest figures. RPI inflation is running at 3.9% – and called the offer “more than disappointing”.

UNISON national officer Ruth Levin said: “Our members are working harder, but they are being paid less in real terms. Many members have not had a pay rise for many years as colleges are not obliged to implement the Association of Colleges recommendation. And on top of that, many support staff in further education colleges are work on term-time only contracts and many are part-time.”

A UNISON survey this year of members working in colleges showed that more than 16% are paid less than £12,000 a year and more than 29% get less than £15,000.

Ruth Levin said: “Support staff are telling us that they are struggling to pay their bills, rent or mortgage and to pay for food.”

UNISON is calling for improved funding for further education and acknowledges the commitment from the Association of Colleges to jointly campaign with the unions improved funding for colleges.

The UK needs a well trained and skilled workforce, says the union, which makes it vital that further education is well resourced both in terms of college facilities and a workforce that is “valued, invested in and fairly rewarded”.


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