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Higher Education - Unions reject pay offer


The five trade unions in higher education institutions – Unison, UCU, Education Institute of Scotland, GMB and Unite have all jointly rejected the employers pay offer of 0.3 per cent.

The employers say a wage increase would equate to job losses. The unions have countered with the demand for a new national agreement on job security and avoidance of redundancy. The miserly pay offer follows the previous three-year deal which forced them to improve wages due to the reopener inflation clause.

Only UCU – the University and College Union – talked about balloting for industrial action, but the ballot has now been withdrawn, thus avoiding pointless sabre-rattling..

In further education and 6th form colleges the Association of Colleges has made a slightly higher opening offer to the further education trade unions of a 1 per cent pay rise. Again, this has been dismissed as derisory.

Both in further and higher education a dance around pay misses the fundamental point that the government and employers’ stewardship and management have placed the entire provision at risk, terminal risk.

Saving further and higher education, creating a unified education service away from the market, is the radical plan that now needs to emerge from the trade unions and workers in education.