THE COLLEGE lecturers' Natfhe union is pushing the government to fund a 5.5 percent pay rise. That is the average pay rise civil servants have won at the Department for Education and Skills.
Further education (FE) lecturers in Natfhe struck for two days earlier this year against college managements' offer of a 2.3 percent rise. There is strong support among lecturers for further strikes. Natfhe general secretary Paul Mackney has suggested strikes during the week of Labour Party conference at the start of October. There are a number of other pay disputes by lecturers and support staff in colleges and universities.
- University lecturers and support staff are being consulted on a 3.2 percent pay offer. Natfhe is not recommanding acceptance to its members.
- FE support staff in the Unison union are preparing to ballot for strikes over pay. They would be in a position to take action alongside lecturers. There is also pressure for action over London allowance payments.
- A meeting of Natfhe university reps at the end of last term called for a ballot for strikes in London-with 28 October mentioned as a possible date for action.
- University support staff in Unison are also looking for strike action in London, where there are wide disparities in allowance payments.
- Pressure is also building in the AUT lecturers' union for action in London.
Support staff in universities are already processing student admissions. Most FE support staff and lecturers will begin returning next week.
The two-day FE lecturers' strike revealed a strong feeling for united action across the unions. Activists are seeking to build on that across colleges and universities too.