The University and College Union (UCU) has called off planned strikes at Lambeth College after reaching a deal with management over pay and a reduction in teaching hours.
UCU members at the college, which last year merged with London South Bank University, have taken 10 days of strike action since November in the long-running industrial dispute. The UCU has announced that the deal struck will see staff receive a pay rise of up to 3 per cent, backdated to September 2018, with the lowest paid staff receiving an extra payment of £250.
All staff will receive six months’ full sick pay entitlement, followed by six months on half pay. The union also states that teaching staff teaching staff on a contract introduced in 2014 will receive an additional five days’ annual leave and a reduction in their teaching hours, from 24 hours per week to 23.
'Hiding behind government cuts'
UCU regional official Una O'Brien said: “Too often colleges hide behind low levels of government investment to avoid giving their staff proper pay and conditions. This deal shows what can be achieved when colleges work with us to avoid disruption and look after their staff.”
All staff received a 1 per cent pay award from 1 September. From 1 February, all staff who were paid less than the London Living Wage have had their salary increased to this level. The college has now offered an extra 1 per cent to all staff earning £40,000 or more, or 2 per cent to those earning less.
A college spokesperson said: "The college recognises that, prior to this year, it had been five years since the college had made a pay offer to its staff. We recognise that this has been a challenging time for our staff and were keen to address this as we begin a new stage in the history of Lambeth College as part of the London South Bank University family."
Last week, a report by the Education and Training Foundation revealed a “decrease in median teacher pay across all [FE] providers”, from £31,800 in 2016–17 to £31,600 in 2017-18.