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Colleges - Employers withdraw


In Further Education and 6th Form Colleges, the Association of Colleges’ initial 1 per cent pay offer, which they had acknowledged was an “opening” offer and which the unions dismissed as derisory, has suddenly become a “full and final offer”.

Effectively the employers have withdrawn from negotiation. Spurious arguments about the funding crisis are being used to justify the employers’ stance even though funding settlements have not been finalised and the evidence is that funding will be up by a margin of 4.5 per cent.

A campaign to reopen negotiations will now begin, starting with highlighting gross increases awarded by college principals to themselves to shame the employers back to talks.

Strange tactics and thinking: will shamefaced principals return to talks, offer 1 per cent, and the unions grab it with both hands? It’s important to keep collective bargaining alive, but paralysis is rapidly spreading through the system.