Sunderland College is a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC). This year’s pay recommendation from the AoC was for a 1% increase, once again much lower than inflation. Even in colleges that have agreed to all of the AoC’s recommended pay increases since 2009, staff are now 24.7% worse off than they were in 2009 when compared to inflation (RPI index October 2017).
Better pay and better jobs are important because colleges need to recruit and keep committed and experienced staff if they are to succeed. Meanwhile, low pay and poor conditions of service make working in FE much less attractive.
UCU IS FIGHTING FOR BETTER PAY AND BETTER JOBS
In the case of Sunderland College, this year’s 1% pay award is a continuation of real terms pay cuts every year since 2010. We received no pay award whatsoever for 2016-17. A 1% ‘offer’ over two years is no pay award at all. Over the same period inflation (RPI) totalled 6% and currently is at 4%.
This is against a backdrop of approximately £225K being spent on consultants (this is an ongoing situation and the real figure may actually be higher), the appointment of a new Vice Principal, and new Hartlepool staff being employed on much better pay than Sunderland College staff (up to £4,000 p.a. better off).