20 May 2013

Employers withdraw FE Pay offer!

Taken from UCU Branch Officers Update.

At yesterdays national pay talks (16 May) the AOC took their 0.5% pay offer off the table. This move, unprecedented in the history of pay negotiations for the sector, was in response to the trade union side rejecting an offer that was not only pitiful but had significant strings attached.

For a  0.5% recommended pay  increase trade unions would have to agree to endorse local talks over changes to working conditions and specifically arrangements for the progression of staff through pay scales.

From the start of these negotiations the trade union side has made it very clear that such conditions are unacceptable. There is no question that giving  a national stamp of authority to local discussions on  potential worsening of pay and conditions,  would provide a green light for employers to move up a gear on trying to impose  changes that include  performance related pay.  Signing up to such an agreement could mean that in many places members effectively getting less pay rather than an increase.

Officer level talks are to be held early next month but at the present time the employers have given no commitment to a further full negotiating meeting – leaving the prospect of no pay offer at all this year!

The trade unions will be urging the employer, rather than” taking its ball home”, to engage meaningfully in order to reach a satisfactory pay offer.  Negotiators have pointed out that a statement included in last year’s pay recommendation already provides sufficient flexibility for local discussions where colleges are facing local challenges.

Further information will be follow, but in the meantime branches are reminded that they will shortly be asked by the membership department to undertake membership checks. Please ensure you do this so that we are ready to launch an industrial ballot later in the year if necessary.

Campaigning materials are available at http://www.ucu.org.uk/fepayengland

Copies of posters have been sent to branches please ensure these displayed at your workplace. Further copies of materials are available on request.

If you haven’t already please do…..

Real wages fall back to 2003 Level

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/feb/13/real-wages-fall-back-2003-levels-uk-ons

We the undersigned note the real terms fall in the value of FE salaries in recent years and the impact this has had on the living standards of staff. While the cost of housing, utilities, fuel, pensions and other essentials have increased substantially our pay has stagnated. This is despite the assertion by the authors of the Lingfield report, which was commissioned by the government, that FE lecturers’ salaries increased by only half as much as those of school teachers and university lecturers between 2000 and 2011.

The wholly inadequate 2012 salary increase of just 0.7% did little or nothing to reverse this negative trend and has allowed salaries to fall further and further behind inflation. These cuts in living standards are difficult for all staff and especially for the lowest paid who are often women – themselves bearing the brunt of other Coalition cut backs.

We therefore call upon colleges and their negotiators to make a pay award, which reflects the vital social and economic role FE staff are playing in providing opportunities for all.

Please sign today at get your colleague to do the same:

SIGN THIS PETITION in support of fair pay: http://www.ucu.org.uk/2013fepaypetition

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