UNISON’s national further education and 6th form colleges committee has recommended rejection of this year’s 0% pay offer for FE college staff in England.
While avoiding responsibility for a national 2015 recommendation, the employers have stated that “there is a clear desire that where affordable, colleges may continue to consider uplifts in pay to staff”.
Jon Richards, UNISON’s national secretary for education and children’s services, said: “This is obviously a watershed moment for collective bargaining in FE, with an outright attack on national bargaining and recommendation to settle locally.
“UNISON was particularly concerned that the recommended pay freeze did not exempt the living wage bottom point, considering our joint work with the Association of Colleges on trying to achieve it sector-wide.”
Mr Richards said that the colleges committee had recommended rejection of an offer “which is in effect no offer.” If members also reject it, the committee will develop a strategy up to and including industrial action.
“This is the worst possible time to destabilise the sector with industrial strife,” he added. “The employers say that they ‘understand the likely response’. Do they really?”
The closing date of the consultation is 14 September 2015.
Further education notification of local pay offer England 2015 (Word document)