Flexible contracts rejected
The model contract from the Colleges' Employers' Forum calls for an average 37-hour working week, though staff could be asked to work 40 hours without overtime but with time off subsequently.
A spokesman for Unison, Britain's biggest public-sector union, said: "We are suspicious of how local managers will apply the flexibility they have in the contract." It was one of many clauses staff were deeply unhappy with, he said.
Roger Ward, chief executive of the CEF, said: "A growing number of CEF members have now reached a local settlement with support staff." A survey estimated around 30 per cent had reached agreements.