Further education employers deny stalling on lecturers’ pay agreement

Employers in the further education sector have denied holding back on introducing new pay scales that would bring lecturers’ pay in line with school teachers.

Last week, the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) released a list of 106 colleges that hadn’t implemented a two-year-old national agreement on shorter pay scales, enabling quicker progression up the career ladder.

Barry Lovejoy, head of further education at UCU, called on colleges dragging their heels to enter into “meaningful and realistic” discussions with the union.

“More than 60% of UCU members work in colleges which have agreed to implement this deal, and the union seeks equal pay for all our members. It is time for these 106 colleges to quit stalling and get moving,” he said.

But the Association of Colleges, which represents colleges in England and Wales, said the union’s comments were “premature”.

Sue Dutton, deputy chief executive of the association, said: “Colleges have determinedly recognised that their hard working and dedicated staff deserve pay parity with their colleagues in schools. Colleges are not stalling, they are simply being sensible about the financial situation in which they find themselves.”

The remaining colleges are likely to start discussions on the pay structures in the New Year, Dutton said.

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