A special pay conference for members of the UCU lecturers' union in further education colleges is set to take place this Saturday, which will discuss whether to reject a below inflation pay offer.
The pay offer is 2 percent now and a further 1 percent in January. This would mean that the average lecturer would have £400 less spending power a year in real terms.
The UCU further education committee (FEC) rejected the offer in July, and agreed to begin a consultative process in September, where union branches could meet to discuss the offer and also elect a delegate to the pay conference.
Howard Miles, a member of the UCU national executive, told Socialist Worker in a personal capacity, 'Where the arguments for rejection are being put clearly to members there have been big meetings that have overwhelmingly or even unanimously rejected the employers' insulting below-inflation pay offer.
'The renewed strikes by the CWU and ballots on pay in Unison and PCS are raising the tempo. If the pay conference votes to reject the offer, we will organise a full ballot of further education members.'
Rich McEwan a UCU rep at Tower Hamlets College told Socialist Worker, 'We voted to reject the offer at our branch meeting last week, and to call for strike action with other public sector unions this autumn.
Members also supported an amendment calling for strike action even if a general election is called, and we collected £64 for striking postal workers.' The FEC is set to meet on Friday.
The UCU Left has put a motion to the FEC, arguing for coordinated strikes with other unions and for a demonstration outside the Association of Colleges conference (the employers body) in November.