Socialist Worker

Further education lecturers face attacks on every front

by Richard McEwan, UCU national executive committee (pc)
Issue No. 2306

The Further education sector conference agenda reflects the diversity of attacks on “second chance” education.

Workloads, job cuts, lesson observation and capability feature heavily as employers try to get more for less while the government cuts funding.

The employers’ position on pay is an insult. It calls for concessions before they will even make an offer.

The Further Education Committee (FEC) has produced a Charter for Pay that rejects both this position and regional pay.

Regional and local pay threaten to undermine national bargaining.

The FEC will present a motion promoting this.

The NASWUT and NUT are preparing for a major campaign in the autumn— partly focused on pay.

Amendments to the FEC motion call for UCU to ballot and prepare industrial action alongside other education unions in the autumn.

Other motions and amendments call for coordination between colleges facing job cuts.

They also call for a national day of action this summer to highlight the impact of job cuts on education.

Hated schools inspector Ofsted is now moving to “no notice” inspections.

Lesson observations are becoming more intrusive and less supportive. They have been used in the redundancy process.

Several colleges have successfully resisted attacks. Southwark, South Tyneside, City of Westminster and Waltham Forest are now in dispute over this with more to follow.

We need to follow the recent Institute for Learning boycott with a national campaign to stop the de-professionalisation of our sector.   

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