Lecturers in further education in the UCU union have voted by 89 percent to accept a 3.2 percent pay deal from October.
A special sector pay conference two weeks ago voted narrowly to recommend acceptance of the current offer.
Although the deal is better than many others in the public sector, it remains a pay cut as it is well below the rate of inflation.
Members and supporters of the UCU Left argued for rejection of the deal, but the combination of the official recommendation and the fact that the offer was relatively high led to acceptance.
The result is a setback. However the fact that the employer was forced to offer 3.2 percent is testament to the willingness of UCU members to take strong action earlier in the year over pay.
UCU has now launched a campaign for full implementation of both this deal and previous pay deals.
We will need to keep a careful watch on how fully the current deal is paid across all colleges.
Many colleges have still not implemented the “new” pay scales that were negotiated over five years ago and UCU is targeting action at those colleges that have so far refused to pay up.
Union members in London have also launched a campaign over London weighting.
The launch of the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning also provides an important focus for UCU activists.
Activists will now need to focus on ensuring that our campaigns lead to real gains for our members.