London’s biggest college group has agreed to pay some of its staff an extra 5 per cent in 2018-19.
The pay deal at Capital City College Group, which will be backdated to September, means staff earning under £55,000, who will receive the extra 5 per cent, could have up to an extra £130 per month in their pay packets.
Those earning between £56,000 and £76,000 will earn an extra 3 per cent, while those earning £76,000 or more will not get a pay increase this year. The chief executive of CCCG has also waived his annual bonus.
Staff at the group's three FE colleges – City and Islington College; the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL); and Westminster Kingsway College – walked out over pay for eight days last year.
'Closing the pay gap'
CCCG chair Alastair da Costa said: “It’s widely accepted that the further education sector has been under-funded for many years – resulting in a situation where staff have been underpaid, too. We want to do something about this and we are fortunate that, as a group with some financial strength, we are in a position to do so.
“At the same time, there has been much talk in the sector and the media about pay gaps between different groups, including organisations’ executives and their staff.
“We are happy to be able to start to close this gap, by adjusting our pay award so that lower-paid staff get a proportionately larger raise than their higher-paid colleagues.”
In a joint statement, chair of the CCCG University and College Union branch Carly Grundle and its secretary Sean Vernell said the pay deal was down to the branch’s resolve.
They added: “Congratulations to all those who contributed to our 96 per cent vote for strike action with a 63 per cent turnout.
"A big thank you to all those who braved the snowy and rainy picket lines and who lobbied the governors with home-made banners, sang their hearts out demanding that the money is there and we want our share.”
'A brilliant victory'
Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, congratulated unions and the college group’s governing body for agreeing “a bold progressive step forward”.
He added: "This is a brilliant victory by your members. Staff working in FE are among the lowest paid in the education sector.
“This award, alongside the fractionalisation agreement, is an important step in ensuring staff are valued for the vital work they do. Congratulations to the governing body in agreeing this bold and progressive step forward, and I hope this signals a change in direction that the whole sector can follow.”
Chief executive of the Collab Group Ian Pretty said: “Retaining high-quality teaching staff in our colleges is vital if we are to boost skills so that our economy can thrive.
"So it is welcome that the CCCG – London’s largest college group – can reward its staff with an above-inflation pay rise.”
CCCG is London’s largest further education and training provider, with over 1,700 staff, around 37,000 students and an annual income totalling £110 million. It has 11 college sites across central and North London for 16- to 18-year-olds, adult learners and apprentices.