Unions reach split decision over terms

26th May 1995 at 01:00
Conciliation talks between college lecturers and employers ended in mixed fortunes this week when one union reached a stalemate over working hours and another signed a two-year deal.

Discussions between the College Employers' Forum and the lecturers' union NATFHE collapsed when the two sides failed to accept each other's terms. On the eve of the union's annual conference in Torquay, officials predicted that the collapse of talks would lead to industrial action being stepped up.

The agenda is already dominated by claims of excessive workloads and redundancy threats. Almost 10,000 job cuts are looming over the next two years, according to a NATFHE survey published today.

But the Association of Teacher and Lecturers, which has a minority membership of 2,300 in further education colleges, negotiated a settlement which the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has agreed to monitor over the next two years before calling both sides back for a review.

Working hours will rise over two years, putting lecturers on a scale from 794 to 886 hours a year, depending on their job. A 37-hour week will include 23 to 27 hours maximum teaching time. Holiday entitlement is 37 days - two more than in the current CEF contract. It will apply to those transferring from Silver Book contracts.

The one-year notice period will be reduced to four months over five years. Those who sign will get the 2.9 per cent pay increase withheld last year. The extra holiday, redundancy notice and new working week will be written into existing CEF contracts.

But NATFHE remains unimpressed. It had offered to increase formal teaching hours for 1995-96 from 756 to 800, with monitoring and a review under ACAS after one year During the six-day hearing, however, employers sought to phase out maximum teaching hours. Over a period of three years they would rise from 756 to 940. After that there would be no contractual limits to teaching hours.

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