The University and College Union (UCU) and UNISON have today (Tuesday) welcomed a U-turn from the Association of Colleges (AoC) over pay talks for staff in further education. At the start of the month the AoC said that it would not discuss a pay claim for 2018/19 while UCU members were still in dispute at some colleges.
That threat prompted unions who represent staff in colleges to write to the AoC saying that a refusal to discuss the pay claim was an “unnecessary provocation” and warned the AoC that it risked undermining its “credibility and relevance to the sector” if it would not talk with the unions.
The AoC has now said it will receive the 2018/19 pay claim from the unions.
UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “It’s in the best interest of the further education sector as a whole that the pay negotiations continue.
“Hardworking support staff haven’t had a decent pay rise for years. The government and employers need to tackle the crippling cuts and low pay that’s sapping the morale of workers. Further education must be funded properly, for the benefit of students everywhere.”
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “We are pleased the AoC has reversed its decision and will now accept the unions’ pay claim. We always think the best place to resolve any issue is at the negotiating table. It is time for them to come to the table with a decent pay offer for staff who have seen their pay held down for too long.”