Unions and the employers in further education have come together to launch a campaign to save the sector.
As the cuts to funding bite ever deeper, colleges are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain staff. Constant ‘restructuring’, rising job insecurity, unmanageable workloads and declining pay are all adding to the crisis.
The Association of Colleges – the employer’s association in England – wants to offer a substantial pay rise, but without a significant injection of funding from central government will not be able to do so.
In an unprecedented move, the employers, all the further education unions in England – UNISON, UCU, GMB, ASCL, NEU and AMiE – and students will join together on 17 October to lobby MPs at Parliament for proper funding for colleges.
“Colleges are an essential part of the UK infrastructure,“ says UNISON national officer for further education Leigh Powell.
“Our members want to be able to support young people to reach their full potential, but tell us that they feel desperately undervalued.
“We need improved pay and better training for staff in colleges as a matter of urgency.”