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Negotiator agrees to talk

The chief negotiator for the FE college employers has agreed to meet representatives of the arbitration service to discuss a dispute in his own college, writes Frances Rafferty.

Graham Baskerville, principal of Chippenham College, will talk to ACAS next week about two employees who have refused to sign a Colleges' Employers' Forum contract.

Of the 100 full-time staff, 12 had held out against signing the contract but of these eight finally signed after, the union claims, they were threatened with dismissal. They have now written to the lecturers' union, NATFHE, seeking application to go to a tribunal.

Paula Lanning, assistant secretary of NATFHE, said the members would be supported and would resort to litigation if negotiations fail.

She said: "In the colleges where our members have signed the CEF's contract we are getting reports of increased workload and stress-related illness. The union is still pursuing locally negotiated contracts and we are on the way to having agreements in a third of colleges."

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