Colleges split as contract talks resume

20th January 1995 at 00:00
Two leading employers involved in the national campaign for tougher contracts in colleges have broken ranks and done deals giving major concessions to the unions.

One locally-struck agreement will cause difficulties nationally for both the Colleges' Employers' Forum and the lecturers' union NATFHE which reopened talks this week aimed at settling the two-year dispute over new contracts.

The agreement being finalised at Peterlee College, Durham, gives lecturers a 23-hour maximum teaching week over a 40-week year, rights including study and paternity leave and a pay rise of 2.9 per cent, Pounds 600 and one increment. Gordon Scott, the chair of governors, is also chair of the CEF.

It is a marked departure from the CEF model contract, which calls for 35 days' leave and up to 37 hours a week teaching. Equally, NATFHE head office will not like the increase in maximum teaching hours, from 756 to 920 a year.

There is a further complication at Peterlee. It is one of the few colleges where the NASUWT has a strong presence, representing over a third of staff. Their head office has already sanctioned the deal.

Cleveland College, whose chair of governors is a CEF board member, has done a deal which NATFHE says is "complicated" but very acceptable.

Neither the employers nor NATFHE were willing to comment on the Peterlee deal in advance of talks this week. Both claim to be winning the protracted national dispute. The CEF claims that most lecturers in the majority of colleges have signed CEF-style "flexible" contracts.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today