Socialist Worker

College pay battle is thrown away in a disastrous retreat

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2494

Further education workers picketing last month

Further education workers picketing last month (Pic: John Atkinson )


The UCU union has ended its pay campaign for further education members.

The union’s further education committee (FEC) met on Friday of last week and voted by two votes to end the campaign.

The decision follows an England-wide college strike by UCU and Unison union members on 24 February.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt told a London rally on the day that the union should look to build alliances with other public sector unions.

UCU Left supporters argued that the UCU should strike alongside sixth form college workers in the NUT union on Tuesday of next week.

But Hunt rejected this proposal. She informed the FEC that if it voted to strike alongside the NUT she would override the decision.

The UCU Left called this a “very worrying development for the democratic decision-making processes of our union”.

It added, “The hard work put in by our members has been thrown away.”

Workers were fighting a zero percent pay “offer” and demanding a rise of £1 an hour for all. The union’s retreat will give bosses the green light to go on the offensive.

The FEC also opposed a call to hold an FE sector conference to discuss a strategy for next year’s pay campaign.

The UCU Left warned, “Some local branches are signing up to deals that gain extra pay at the expense of terms and conditions.

“This is a disastrous, dangerous and divisive strategy.”

Union activists should get their branch to support the call for a special FE conference.

Branches should pass motions calling for an escalating strategy over next year’s pay claim.


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Tue 8 Mar 2016, 17:38 GMT
Issue No. 2494
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