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UCU data on college strike pay - AoC's response

20 May 2019

In response to the dispute over college staff pay, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “I appreciate that the decision to strike is never a decision taken lightly, but it is disappointing that this action is being taken so soon after we agreed to work together with unions to campaign on fair funding for colleges. I am very committed to that joint work to keep up the pressure on government. When we made the recommendation of 1% or a minimum of £250 we were clear that this was the maximum we believed was affordable by colleges, given the severe funding cuts which they have been subject to in recent years. "We have been campaigning and putting pressure on the Government to address the inadequate funding levels and that has been recognised by no less than the Chief Inspector and the FE Commissioner themselves. We will not waiver until we achieve fair funding for colleges. I have said before that it is not acceptable that teachers in schools are earning on average £37k compared with only £30k in colleges; we all know that the funding cuts colleges have had to cope with are responsible and that is our focus for action. "It is also important to put this action into perspective. Around 93% of UCU members in over 270 colleges were not balloted in this targeted action, meaning that there was and is no mandate for national action in what is a national negotiation. The strike action will have more impact on students in the colleges than it will have on the Government which has starved colleges of the investment they need to support better pay.”