FE conditions and pay abysmal

12th May 2006 at 01:00
I have followed with interest the struggle by FE lecturers and HE academics and other staff to gain a just, well-deserved, professional rate of pay for a demanding array of teaching, administration, research and related activities.

It is no wonder that FE colleges and universities find it hard to recruit well qualified, experienced and motivated staff when pay is abysmal, conditions of service questionable, workload (often disguised as flexible response to institutional demands) is intolerable, and career structures non-existent or untenable.

As a senior teacher with 30 years' experience in the local authority sector and various allowances (special needs; upper pay spine 1, 2 and 3; and teaching and learning responsibility points), I investigated various posts in the teacher education, FE and research sectors, only to be horrified to find that, even as a senior lecturer, I would face a substantial pay reduction, worse conditions of service, a workload defined by gaps in skills and knowledge, and unacceptable working environments.

The Government, the LSC and the HEFC need to understand that to recruit, retain and motivate post-19 provision staff, they must be rewarded and recognised for the outstanding work they do. Tokenism and cynicism in the salaries debate will not resolve this issue. I am only surprised that FE and HE colleagues have been so patient and accepting for so long.

I trust that lecturers' union Natfhe and the Association of University Teachers win the pay rate and recognition they deserve.

Len Parkyn

Head of Transition Planning and Liaison

Downs View Link College Brighton and Hove City

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today