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Support striking colleagues: donate to the ʵ fighting fund

Colleagues who can afford to do so are asked to consider a donation to the ʵ fighting fund. Donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to only contribute whatever their circumstances allow. Any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.

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Your support is needed

10 July 2021

ʵ is determined to resist the current wave of job cuts and attacks on working conditions taking place in post-16 education throughout the UK and these campaigns are asking for your support.

    Bradford College: strike action over low pay

    Staff at Bradford College were balloted to strike after college management recommended a pay award worth only 2.2% to 2.5% for most lecturers.

    The ballot opened on Thursday 23 February and ran until Monday 27 March. The dispute centres on a pay award for 2022/23 of only £800, which is worth between just 2.2-2.5% for most ʵ members. Inflation is currently 13.4% and ʵ is demanding a pay award that meaningfully addresses the cost of living crisis its members are facing.

    Update, 28 March 2023: Bradford College ʵ's industrial action ballot closed on Monday 27 March; 90% of members who voted were prepared to take strike action and 97% were prepared to take action short of a strike (ASOS). Turnout was 58%.

    Update, 3 May 2023: Negotiations have been ongoing, and the employer has increased its original offer to a flat rate of £1,160, but this is still not enough as it equates to only 3.2% for many of Bradford College's lecturers. Staff at Bradford College will strike for 14 days across May and June 2023 in a dispute over low pay and working conditions. Click here for the full set of strike dates. GCSEs will be hit but there is still time for the employer to make an improved offer to avert industrial action.

    University of Brighton: fight back against redundancies

    Staff at the University of Brighton are being balloting for strike action; the ballot will close on Friday 10 June 2023. University management announced plans to sack over a hundred members of staff.

    The university claims it needs to make £17.9m in savings. The cuts would mean a huge reduction in lecturers in subjects including art, media, education, architecture, engineering, humanities and sport science. Yet University of Brighton has spent over £50m on building projects in the last two years.

    Join the march and rally on Saturday 10 June at 11:00 at the Level in Brighton and please bring your local banners. .

    Update, 9 June 2023: University of Brighton ʵ's industrial action ballot closed on Friday 9 June; 90% of members who voted were prepared to take strike action and 90% were prepared to take action short of a strike (ASOS). Turnout was 61%.

    : University of Brighton ʵ will begin indefinite industrial action from Monday 3 July.

    City College Norwich: strike action over low pay

    ʵ members at City College Norwich are balloting for industrial action from Tuesday 7 February 2023, after management tabled a divisive pay offer to three different staff groups. Lecturers would receive 4% whilst other staff would receive just 2.5%. The lowest paid staff would lose the protection from low pay as management rips up its status as a Real Living Wage employer. ʵ branch membership has more than doubled since the branch lodged the claim on pay and local conditions.

    Update, 6 March 2023: Staff at City College Norwich will strike on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March over a huge real terms pay cut. The announcement comes after an overwhelming 88% of ʵ members who voted said yes to strike action in an industrial ballot. Turnout was an incredible 73%. 

    Update, 5 May 2023: Staff at City College Norwich were on strike on Friday 5 May in a strike over low pay. They will also be on strike on Tuesday 9 May and are demanding that management urgently raise pay to meet the cost of living crisis. Staff have already taken two days of strike action this year after the college imposed a pay award so low it ended the college's accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer.

    Education and Training Collective: strike action over low pay

    Staff at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Redcar and Cleveland College--all of which are part of employer group Education Training Collective (ETC)--will begin strike action next month as part of an ongoing dispute over low pay. The strike dates include Tuesday 7 November, Monday 13 November and Tuesday 14 November. Click here for full details.

      Havant and South Downs College: strike action over low pay

      ʵ members are being balloted for strike action at Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) in a dispute about pay. ʵ have been in negotiations about a pay rise at HSDC since summer 2022. The college has made a pay offer of between 4.3% to 2.6% across different grades. After a decade of stagnating pay at HSDC, our members should not face a further real terms cut to their salaries. HSDC can and should do more to support their staff through the ongoing cost of living crisis. The ballot closes on Friday 3 February.

      Update, 21 February 2023:  Staff at Havant and South Downs College have been on strike for two days on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 February in a dispute over low pay amid the cost of living crisis. The strike comes after 76% of ʵ members who voted said 'Yes' to strike action. The turnout was 53%, surpassing the 50% threshold imposed by Tory anti-trade union laws, despite the ballot only being open for two weeks. The National Education Union (NEU) also balloted members at the college with a similar result. 79% of NEU members voted for strike action with a 58% turnout and will be joining both days of strikes.

      Update, 24 April 2023: ʵ members at Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) will be taking two further days of strike action on Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 April 2023 in their ongoing dispute on pay, following their well supported action in February. NEU members at HSDC will strike on the same days. NEU and ʵ are working in partnership to win fair pay after a decade of below inflation pay increases at the college. Please send messages of solidarity to the branch. 

      University of the Highlands and Islands: job cuts

      A ballot for strike action opened on Friday 18 August 2023 at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in a dispute over job cuts and compulsory redundancies. The ballot would run until 20 September and could pave the way for strike action at the university in the new academic year.

      Update, 8 September 2023: UHI ʵ branch is asking members to . The letter has had a great response so far, but the more people who sign the louder the message to management to rethink their massive cuts, rule out compulsory redundancies and stop damaging higher education in the highlands and islands.

      : Staff at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) have this week backed strikes in a dispute over plans to slash £3million from the university's staffing budget and cut up to 44 roles. The union said losing so many staff in such a short timescale was bound to impact on both the student experience, the university's reputation ,and the future of tertiary education in the  Scottish highlands and islands. In the ballot of UHI ʵ members, 77% of those who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 86%.

      : ʵ Scotland has announced dates for strike action at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). The strike is over the university's plans to cut £4 million, including £3 million from the staff budget and making up to 44 roles redundant. UHI ʵ members will take six days of strike action starting on Tuesday 17 October and escalating through to the start of November. The employer has taken no steps to prevent the strike going ahead. Politicians across the Highlands and Islands have also called for talks and consultation between the union and the university.

      : The ʵ branch at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) will be taking the first of six days of strike action on Tuesday 17 October. The dispute is over £3m cuts to the staffing budget and making up to 44 roles redundant. Please send messages of solidarity to the branch.

      : ʵ members at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) began the first of six days of strikes on Tuesday 17 October. The strike is over £4 million cuts the university is making, including £3 million from the staffing budget meaning that up to 44 roles are being made redundant. In the ballot approving strike action, turnout was 86% with 77% of ʵ members backing going on strike to defend jobs and oppose cuts. Please send messages of solidarity to the branch.

      Update, 27 October 2023: ʵ members at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) are taking six days of strike action over £4 million cuts the university is making, including £3 million from the staffing budget. The next strike days are Tuesday 31 October, Wednesday 1 November and Thursday 2 November.

      You can support UHI colleagues by donating to their fighting fund (details below), and by sending messages of support to the branch. Officers from UHI ʵ branch are available to speak at branch meetings, please email the ʵ Scotland office to be put in touch. You can also , and . 

      For donations to UHI fighting fund:

      • account name: ʵ UHI Millennium Inst SC019
      • account number: 20240808
      • sort code: 60-83-01

      Imperial College: local dispute on pay and working conditions

      ʵ members at Imperial College were balloted in autumn 2022 for a local dispute on pay. Imperial College, which is outside national pay bargaining and is one of the wealthiest higher education institutions in the country, admitted that management was choosing to spend the bulk of its £162m surplus on buildings rather than staff. UNISON and Unite hoped to be joining ʵ shortly.

      Update, 18 October 2022: Imperial College ʵ received news of an excellent result in their ballot over pay. Turnout was 61% with over 80% voting for action. Reps and members discussed what action they wished to take.

      Update, 20 January 2023: On Monday 23 January, Imperial College ʵ members will be out on the picket lines alongside colleagues from Unite over locally negotiated pay. Messages of solidarity and visits to the picket lines would be very welcome.

      Update, March 2023: Imperial College ʵ members are currently re-balloted in their local dispute on pay and working conditions. This re-ballot will finish after the ʵ Rising national HE industrial action ballot.

      Update, 5 May 2023: Imperial College London ʵ have won a renewed mandate in their local pay and working conditions dispute with members roundly rejecting management's attempts to close negotiations. Members will be embarking on a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) and are considering taking further strike days in conjunction with UNISON and Unite whose members have also rejected the offer.

      University of Kent: threats to jobs

      The University of Kent have reneged on an agreement with ʵ to ensure job security among arts and humanities academics for the duration of the review into these areas. ʵ regional official Michael Moran said, 'ripping up a good faith agreement and putting our members at risk of compulsory redundancy is no way to conduct industrial relations'. The announcement comes in the wake of a proposal to put large numbers of professional services staff at risk. All ʵ members at University of Kent to use their vote in the industrial action ballot to send a clear message to management, and .

      Update, 16 June 2023: The University of Kent ʵ industrial action ballot closed on Friday 16 June 2023 at noon. 84% of ʵ members who voted are prepared to take strike action and 88% of ʵ members who voted are prepared to take action short of a strike (ASOS). Turnout was 51%.

      Kirklees College: strike action over low pay

      ʵ members at Kirklees College in Huddersfield and Dewsbury are being balloted on whether to take strike action in a dispute over low pay, the University and College Union (ʵ) announced today. The ballot opened on Monday 13 March 2023 and would run until Friday 14 April 2023. 

      ʵ's claim, submitted in May 2022, was for 10% and it is demanding a fair pay award to help staff meet the cost of living crisis, as well as a commitment to address unacceptable workloads and advance professional respect. There have been no significant pay rises at Kirklees College since 2009 and the dispute centres on an imposed 1% consolidated pay award for the 2022/23 pay year, and an imposed 2.5% consolidated pay award, plus a move in scales at the top of the pay bands for lecturers and scarce skills lecturers, for the 2023/24 pay year. 

      Update, 17 April 2023: The Kirklees College ʵ industrial action ballot closed on Friday 14 April 2023. On a turnout of 54%, 94% members voted YES for strike action.

      Update, 3 May 2023: ʵ notified the employer that members would be taking industrial action in furtherance of their claim. Strike dates are: Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 May 2023, and Monday 5 and Wednesday 7 June 2023. GCSEs will be impacted but there is still time for the employer to make an improved offer to avert industrial action.

      Update, 1 June 2023: Kirklees College ʵ members will also strike on Monday 12 June and Wednesday 14 June.

      Update, 8 September 2023: Staff at Kirklees College will strike for four days on Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2023 in a long running dispute over low pay. The strikes will hit the first teaching week of the new academic year. Staff will be on picket lines at the in Huddersfield and the in Dewsbury from 08:00 till 12:00 (noon) on all four days. 

      Luminate Education Group (Leeds City College and Harrogate College): strike action over low pay

      Staff at Leeds City College and Harrogate College (Luminate Education Group) are on strike for four days from Monday 5 June 2023 unless employers make an improved pay offer. The days of strike action taking place are:

      • Monday 5 June
      • Wednesday 7 June
      • Monday 12 June
      • Wednesday 14 June 

      ʵ said college leaders only have themselves to blame if strikes disrupt crucial GCSE maths and English exams set to take place next week. The disputes centre on low pay and high workloads. Staff pay has fallen behind inflation by as much as 35% since 2009, yet for 2022/23 employers at the four colleges forced through pay awards worth less than 4% for the vast majority of lecturers. ʵ is demanding a meaningful pay rise to help staff during the cost of living crisis and action to end to excessive workloads. 

      The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester: strike action over low pay

      Staff at Manchester College and UCEN Manchester will take 12 days of strike action starting on Monday 15 May 2023.

      The strike comes after 94% of members who voted said backed industrial action in a ballot with a 59% turnout. This will be the fifth time that staff have been forced to take industrial action this year. An offer of 2.7% consolidated increase (the lowest for colleges in North West England) was rejected by members against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis and inflation above 13%.

      ʵ members and supporters are invited to attend a picket and rally on Thursday 25 May at 17:00 at the City Campus, 60 Great Ducie Street, Manchester M3 1LT.  The full strike dates are:

      • Monday 15 May - Friday 19 May
      • Monday 22 May - Friday 26 May  
      • Monday 5 June
      • Wednesday 7 June

      Northern Ireland further education: pay and conditions dispute

      In Northern Ireland there are six area-based regional colleges with centralised machinery for bargaining on pay and conditions. ʵ negotiates with the employers through the Lecturers' Negotiating Committee. Click here for the latest updates on the 2022/23 negotiations.

      North Kent College: industrial action ballot over pay

      ʵ is in dispute with North Kent College over the 2022/23 pay offer, which comes after ten years without any pay increase and is worth just 3% for lecturers at the top of the pay spine. ʵ slammed North Kent College principal David Gleed for accepting a £20k rise (2021/22), worth 12.5%, even though his staff have endured ten years without any increase.

      ʵ ran a strike ballot which closed on Friday 16 June 2023 at noon. 95% of ʵ members who voted are prepared to take strike action and 97% of ʵ members who voted are prepared to take action short of a strike (ASOS). Turnout was 73%.

      New Oxford Brookes University: Defending jobs

      Oxford Brookes University has announced plans to reduce academic staff numbers in humanities and social sciences and technology, design and the environment leaving 48 jobs at risk of compulsory redundancy.

      ʵ reps have challenged the need to make the proposed £2 million savings given the apparent positive financial situation of the university and concerns have also been raised about lack of meaningful consultation with the union and affected staff.  and follow the branch on 

        Sheffield College: strike action over low pay

        Over 200 staff at Sheffield College are on strike after receiving an 'insulting' pay offer of just 2.5%. The full dates of strike action are: Friday 20 January,  Monday 30 January,  Tuesday 7 February and Thursday 9 February. Staff will also work to rule from Monday 23 January, which includes working strictly to their contracted hours, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues. The announcement comes after an overwhelming 87% of members who voted said 'Yes' to strike action in a turnout of 59%.

        Update, 7 March 2023: strike action that was planned to take place at Sheffield College for 8 days from week beginning 13 March 2023 has been suspended while ʵ participates in Acas collective conciliation to try and resolve the pay dispute.

        Update, 5 May 2023: The Sheffield College has been served notice of three strike dates on Wednesday 17, Friday 19 and Wednesday 24 May. These strike dates will affect GCSE maths and English exams. The strikes follow a rejection by members of a £100 unconsolidated lump sum payment to settle a 2022/23 pay dispute where members received just a 2.5% pay increase despite soaring inflation.

            Stanmore College: dispute over low pay

            Staff at Stanmore College in Harrow are being balloted on whether to take strike action in a dispute over low pay. The college has offered staff a paltry 1% consolidated pay increase for 2022/23 alongside a £1.5k one-off payment. It has also attempted to reconfigure its offer but the envelope of money available has not changed. The ballot opened on Thursday 22 June 2023 and will run until Tuesday 18 July 2023.

            Update, 19 July 2023: The Stanmore College ʵ ballot closed on Tuesday 18 July 2023. 100% of those voted said they would be prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action, on a turnout of 76.74%.

            Tyne Coast College: strike action over low pay

            Over 100 staff at Tyne Coast College will down tools in June 2023 in a fight over fair pay.

            Staff will strike on Monday 5 and Wednesday 7 June. They will be  outside main entrances from 07:30 to 09:30 on both strike days. The College has  it will be 'closed for lessons' during the strike days. 

            The strike comes after 94% of those who voted backed strike action. Turnout was 54%. It is over the 2022/3 pay claim, which comes on top of multiple real-term wage cuts and a recent pay freeze (2019/20).  The College has been involved in controversy recently as it suddenly announced the closure of a key part of their provision, the sixth form at Queen Alexandra College. This provoked  amongst parents and students, as well as the staff, and the local MP also  up the issue. The uproar forced the college into a partial . 

            : Over 100 staff at Tyne Coast College will take two days of strike action next month on Tuesday 3 and Monday 23 October in a long-running dispute over low pay. The latest action comes after management imposed a paltry pay award of just 3%, which staff had overwhelmingly rejected. Staff have already taken two days of strike action in the dispute.

            : Strike action at Tyne Coast College has been called off after the employer agreed to enter talks with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). Staff took a day's strike action last month and had been due to walk out on Monday 23 October as part of a long running dispute over pay. The action came after management imposed a paltry pay award of just 3%, which staff had overwhelmingly rejected.  

            Weston College prison education: pay campaign

            Weston College ʵ prison education branch have been campaigning for a decent pay rise. An open letter in support of the campaign was presented to management this week. It was signed by 71 members of staff. Contact will now be made with all those who signed the petition and an open meeting held to discuss the next steps in the campaign.

            Recent wins and resolutions: showing the power of the union

            Milton Keynes College prison education: pay win

            Prison education ʵ members at Milton Keynes College have overwhelmingly voted to accept a pay increase of 8.5% for staff earning under £43,000 per annum and 6.5% for staff earning above that. This is a great achievement and will go some way towards addressing the impact that years of pay stagnation and high inflation have had on salaries. The pay agreement also includes a commitment to award a one-off lump sum to staff by March 2024, and a commitment to reviewing pay scales by working towards a more equitable and consistent pay framework.

            Novus: 9% pay win for prison educators

            ʵ members at Novus prison education branch have overwhelmingly voted to accept the employer's offer of a 9% pay increase to all salaries. The offer is testament to the strength and unity of the branch and sets out firm foundations for the future of prison education. Well done to members and branch negotiators for their work on getting a strong pay deal.

            King's College London: settlement of local dispute

            King's College London (KCL) ʵ agreed terms to settle the local dispute on London weighting, parental leave, childcare support, recognition and other terms and conditions which allowed them to end their local marking and assessment boycott. In more detail, the agreement was as follows:

            • a rise to £5,000 in London Weighting from December 2023, up from £3,500 in 2021
            • a rise of eighteen up to twenty weeks paid maternity leave, and two up to six weeks paid paternity leave
            • 20% childcare cost subsidies at Ofsted recognised providers for under three year olds
            • a new recognition agreement covering the processes of negotiation, consultation, information and dispute resolution
            • joint union-management working groups to address pay gaps, excessive workloads, and career progression including casualisation.

            KCL ʵ members agreed to accept this package.

            Northeastern University London: win on pay

            Northeastern University London (formerly New College of the Humanities) ʵ branch secured a number of significant wins in this year's pay negotiations, with the support of ʵ London region office. Chief among them is the introduction of an academic pay spine, based on the national spine, bringing NU London's pay into alignment with other UK and London universities, as well as securing annual pay progression for staff throughout the full range of the grades. The agreed procedure for transferring staff to the new pay structure provides for assimilation upward into the new grades, resulting in large pay increases for lower-paid staff, together with additional spine point increments awarded for past years of service, so as to address and, as much as possible, remedy historical pay inequalities. In addition, union negotiators secured a 9% increase to spine point values for 2023-24, resulting in, on average a nearly 15% increase to salaries for the current academic year. Members of the branch--already large and growing--voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer.

            University of East Anglia: no compulsory redundancies

            University of East Anglia's threats to make compulsory redundancies across the workforce, announced in January 2023, have been followed by silence from university management. After a 700-strong all-staff meeting called by ʵ, UNISON and Unite, no plans to avoid redundancies have been tabled by UEA. The unions' requests for financial information and university expenditure have not been answered. UEA ʵ branch are preparing campaigning activity under the banner of a dispute to save all jobs and to challenge the lack of clear plans and information. Support amongst the local and wider community is building; messages of solidarity can be sent to the branch via .

            Update, 31 May 2023: UEA ʵ held a statutory industrial action ballot over the redundancies dispute. On a turnout of 57.3%, 84.4% of UEA ʵ members are prepared to take part in strike action and 83.8% say they are prepared to take part in action short of a strike (ASOS). The UEA ʵ branch will determine the next steps.

            Update, 8 June 2023: UEA has recently announced that over 200 staff are at risk of redundancy with a target of 113 redundancies remaining. This is despite having lost over 100 jobs via voluntary severance and many more as a result of vacancies and planned posts being removed since January 2023. Staff are once again having to pay the price for the failure of senior leadership. The local ʵ branch has just smashed the threshold for strike action and discussions have already begun on how they can take effective industrial action to resist the cuts and save jobs. Branches are encouraged to pass motions in support of UEA staff () and . For further details, please email UEA ʵ branch

            Update, 22 June 2023: Having announced 77 redundancies across professional services earlier this month, UEA announced details of its academic redundancies this week. 86% of these cuts fall in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, with 31 jobs set to be cut.

            Update, 22 September 2023: Members at University of East Anglia (UEA) voted to end the dispute with the employer following a guarantee from management that there would be no compulsory redundancies made as a result of the current savings proposals. It has taken nearly nine months to arrive at this position in a bitter dispute that resulted in the departure of the previous vice-chancellor, strike action, and the threat of significant further action at the start of term. This is a magnificent victory for UEA ʵ members, although one tempered by the number of fantastic colleagues who have left UEA on a voluntary basis over the past few months. UEA ʵ wishes to thank all members and branches that have offered support this year and would welcome requests for support from any branch suffering similar threats of redundancy. If they come for one of us, they come for all of us.

            Barnet and Southgate College: pay and workload dispute

            The long running pay (2020/21 and 2021/22) and workload dispute at Barnet and Southgate College has ended with members agreeing to accept a non-consolidated offer on pay, a reimbursement of some strike deductions and improvements on workload with a commitment to further talks in September 2023 on pay for 2023/24.

            Falmouth University: dispute over two-tier workforce

            In June 2023, ʵ welcomed Falmouth University's decision to bring on-campus academic staff in-house from Tuesday 1 August 2023. The move means staff will automatically be enrolled onto the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS), which has employer contributions of 23.6%. ʵ said that other employers should look to Falmouth and make sure their staff can access the sector's leading pension schemes. All new campus-based academic jobs will also be employed directly through the university, rather than a subsidiary company. The decision brings a long-running dispute to an end with Falmouth ʵ members overwhelmingly voting to resolve the dispute and work constructively with management going forward. .

            Below is a summary of key events in this dispute:

            • an industrial action ballot opened at Falmouth University on Monday 11 July 2022 and ran until Friday 19 August 2022. The ballot aimed to stop management creating a two-tier workforce using a wholly owned subsidiary company, with worse terms and conditions, which threatened national bargaining agreements made between ʵ and universities
            • July 2022: Falmouth members were angered to read the new vice-chancellor trying to defend the use of Falmouth Staffing Ltd to employ new academics on inferior contracts in an all-staff email. Falmouth University ʵ continued its 'get the vote out' efforts to fight against 'subcos' in higher education to defend national agreements in the post-92 sector
            • August 2022:  90% of Falmouth University ʵ members who voted said YES to strike action to resolve a long-running dispute involving the creation of a two-tier workforce. Members smashed the threshold with a turnout of 62% to stop the privatisation of the university. Academic staff had been employed by 'Falmouth Staffing Ltd' since September 2021 and with it, the loss of access to the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS). Members would not stand by and watch the erosion of nationally agreed terms and conditions.
            • October 2022: Staff walked out from Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 October.

            Birmingham City University: local dispute on pay and working conditions

            Birmingham City University (BCU) ʵ members, who are historically locked out of national bargaining, have won some significant gains locally. At the start of the pay year in August (2022) the branch was offered a 2% increase to be paid for by not awarding any increments for the current academic year.

            The branch engaged in a long dispute to push back. In early discussions BCU moved its position and offered only a further 0.5% increase plus some tapered one-off payments. The branch emphatically rejected this as a final settlement offer but agreed to take it as an interim payment while balloting members on industrial action. The interim payment was made in December 2022.

            The industrial action ballot was successful: 80.7% of members voted for strike action and 93.5% voted for action short of a strike (ASOS), with a turnout was 62.5%. Notice to take eleven days of strikes throughout March and April 2023 was served. That prompted further negotiations at Acas, which resulted in the branch winning a final offer from the employer consolidating a further 2.5% pay increase for the current year (on top of the 2.5% consolidated increase and the non-consolidated amounts already received in December 2022) with a further 3% to follow in August 2023. The University has also agreed to the award of an increment to all those eligible from August 2023.

            Crucially, BCU ʵ branch has also won its long-term objective to establish formal collective bargaining machinery through the setting up of a joint negotiating and consultative committee (JNCC). JNCC will begin to review matters such as pay gaps, workload and casualisation--areas which the employer had not previously considered open for negotiation.

            University of Bath: ground-breaking anti-casualisation agreement

            on a range of anti-casualisation issues with their employer. The agreement will benefit 286 staff immediately with a further 181 gaining in the following two years. Here are just a couple of the highlights:

            • the agreement commits to offering all postgraduate researchers who teach (GTAs) at least 0.1 FTE, a fractional salaried post with a commitment to working towards extending this to those on less than 0.1 FTE
            • in a genuinely ground-breaking approach (and one that ʵ have been campaigning for) three pilots will be launched where all members of research groups will be moved onto open-ended contracts, with a timeline to see further roll-outs following evaluations of the initial pilots (one is already up and running). If the pilots are successful, the agreement commits to a roll-out of this approach in 2024/25. This would be a first in the higher education sector and its importance cannot be over-stated.

            and to all those involved in the negotiations that secured this agreement, including the fantastic local team and ʵ South West England regional support official, Catriona Scott.

            Sheffield Hallam University: end of zero-hour contracts for associate lecturers

            On 10 March 2023, ʵ declared a significant win against casualisation after Sheffield Hallam University agreed to move associate lecturers off zero-hour contracts.

            An overwhelming 96% of members polled have endorsed a negotiated settlement that will see all associate lecturers moved off of zero-hour contracts, with those who are employed for more than 8 consecutive weeks moved onto fixed-term contracts. Associate lecturers are staff specifically employed either to cover the short term absences of other colleagues or to cover unforeseen or urgent short-term additional teaching needs.

            The union said that although this does not end casualisation at the university, it goes a long way to addressing the insecurity of zero-hour contracts and inequalities between associate lecturers and other members of academic staff.

            University of Cambridge: ʵ wins historic recognition deal

            University of Cambridge has finally agreed to recognise the union. ʵ general secretary Jo Grady has signed the recognition agreement on 10 March 2023 and the university is set to ratify it imminently.

            The recognition agreement comes whilst ʵ has been re-balloting its members at the University of Cambridge and 149 other universities across the UK in its ongoing pay, working conditions and pension dispute.

            Cambridge had been an outlier in higher education, as one of the only UK universities not to recognise ʵ. The recognition agreement means the union will now be able to enter into formal negotiations with management, have a guaranteed membership in governance committees, conduct independent health and safety inspections, and offer members paid time off for essential union activities. It covers staff in all ʵ bargaining groups, including academic, academic-related, research and professional services staff.

            University of Sheffield International College: dispute over pay and conditions

            USIC is owned and operated by Study Group but is closely connected to the University of Sheffield. Study Group uses University of Sheffield branding, and provides preparation courses for overseas students who want to go on and study at the university. Students from all over the world enrol to improve their English, study skills and subject specialism in readiness for their degrees. . Members at University of Sheffield International College (USIC) delivered a resounding ballot result in their dispute over pay and conditions (83.3% turnout, 84.4% for strike action and 97.8% for action short of a strike).

            USIC ʵ then announced five days of strike action on 17, 18, 28, 29 and 30 November 2022. The action was the first ever strike to take place in a privatised higher education provider. Staff also worked to rule from Monday 21 November 2022, which included working strictly to their contracted hours, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

            Strike action planned for 17 and 18 November at USIC was then suspended to allow for further consultation with members after the employer made a new offer. This was rejected by members and they took strike action on 28, 29 and 30 November 2022. In 2023, members were on strike on 30 and 31 January, 2 February and 3 February. Further action was planned for the week of Monday 13 February which was suspended for member consultation.

            On 1 March, USIC ʵ members voted to accept the employer's offer, which involved:

            • 5% for staff <£44k per year from 1 September 2022 (backdated)
            • 3% for staff >£44k per year from 1 September 2022 (backdated)
            • further 1% for all staff from 1 January 2023 (backdated)
            • further 4% for all staff from 1 September 2023

            ʵ wins pay deal at West Thames College

            On 9 February 2023, ʵ welcomed a deal at West Thames College that will see a 5% consolidated pay rise across the board for 2022/23. The college had agreed in December 2022 to a 3% pay award for 2022/23, which was backdated to the start of term and paid in the December salary, subject to further negotiations with ʵ. A further 2% consolidated increase will now be paid and back dated to the start of term. The deal was won through effective and meaningful negotiation with West Thames College, following a strong mandate for strike action achieved in an earlier e-ballot, and shows that there is money in the sector to help staff through the cost of living crisis.

            Durham University: PhD students' pay increased

            after it was found to have paid them an annual sum that effectively meant they were getting below the national minimum wage. Durham University ʵ said it was shocked to discover in September 2022 that PhD students teaching on the institution's popular law course were being paid £15,000 a year. ʵ said that this would make them among the lowest paid in the sector.

            This annual amount covered the expected 1,880 hours of research for their PhD, as well as 80 hours of teaching on the degree course, amounting to £7.98 an hour before tax. This is below the national minimum wage of £9.50 for people aged 23 and over. ʵ said Durham University's announcement this week that it will increase funding for law PhD students by £5,000 a year, following lobbying from the local Labour MP and academics, was a 'huge win'.

            Newham College wins pay deal

            ʵ welcomed a deal at Newham College that would see pay rises across the board as well as a lump sum payment. The deal will see a consolidated 8% pay rise for staff earning up to £25k and a 5% consolidated pay rise for qualified lecturers and curriculum managers (2.5% increase backdated to September 2022 with a further 2.5% to be paid from January 2023). The deal also includes a £600 non-consolidated lump sum for staff earning over £30k and £750 for those earning below £30k. The union said this deal was won through effective and meaningful negotiation with Newham College management and shows that there is money in the further education sector to help staff through the cost of living crisis.

            Prison education: pay and 'gate time' gains for Novus branch

            Around 500 ʵ members working in education at 48 prisons and youth offender institutions across England were balloted for industrial action after their employer refused to raise pay to help staff meet the cost of living crisis; Novus only offered 2% for 2021/22 and 3% for 2022/23 on pay. The ballot opened on Wednesday 14 September and closed on Wednesday 5 October. Over 50% of members voted and nearly 95% of members who took part voted for strike action. In November 2022, Novus branch decided to accept the improved pay and conditions offer. On the pay element the lowest paid will be awarded 8.4% with most members in the tutor/trainers grades gaining between 5% and 6%. The rate will reduce gradually from 4% to just over 2% for managerial grades. On the conditions element all members who work in prisons will be given 'gate time' which means they will be paid for the time passing through all the security measures to get to work. This issue is a cause the ʵ have been fighting for over 20 years and is a major step in treating prison educators as equals in the prison system.

            Hopwood Hall College ʵ members win 9.2% pay award

            ʵ welcomed a pay deal which will see most lecturers at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale awarded a 9.2% increase in pay for 2022/23. An overwhelming 98% of ʵ members at Hopwood voted to accept the offer, which will arrive in this month's pay packets and is back dated to August. The deal is worth 9.2% for most lecturers. For new lecturers who are at the bottom of the spine and for Skills Development Coaches the deal is worth 20.25%, over £5k. All pay awards are consolidated. The deal also includes a commitment to creating a joint workload agreement with ʵ before the end of the academic year.

            Abingdon and Witney College ʵ members win significant pay rise

            ʵ members at Abingdon and Witney College have overwhelmingly voted to accept an improved pay deal. The pay increase is 8% for lowest paid, 5% for middle earners, including lecturers, and 3% for the highest earners within management. The deal also includes an agreement that closure days over the Christmas period will not be taken from staff holiday entitlements. This gives members five additional days of holiday to use throughout the year. The deal comes after 89.9% of ʵ members in national ballots voted YES to strike action on an overall turnout of 57.9%, which is the biggest mandate for industrial action ever across English further education colleges.

            Croydon College ʵ members win significant pay rise

            Staff at Croydon College have won an improved pay deal. The pay award means those earning under £25k will see their pay rise by 8%, and those earning between £25k and £40k, including lecturers, will see their pay rise by 5%. The deal comes after 89.9% of ʵ members in national ballots voted YES to strike action on an overall turnout of 57.9%, which is the biggest mandate for industrial action ever across English further education colleges.

            Queen Mary, University of London: strikes over 100% of staff pay withheld

            ʵ has warned university vice-chancellors they will face further strike ballots if they dock 100% of pay from staff who have returned to work. The warning came after a strike ballot opened at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) in February 2022 over management's decision to withhold 100% of pay for staff undertaking lawful action short of strike (ASOS), such as not rescheduling classes lost to strike action and removing uploaded materials related to those classes.

            Staff at QMUL returned to work after taking 10 days of strike action over three weeks in national disputes over USS pension cuts, pay and working conditions. But senior managers at QMUL said that staff would continue to be docked 100% of pay even though they would be back at work and carrying out most of their contracted duties. The university said it would;d dock 100% of pay until classes cancelled due to strike action were rescheduled and their related materials were put online. The ballot opened on Monday 28 February and will close on Monday 21 March, and if successful QMUL could face strike action as soon as April 2022.

            : QMUL ʵ's ballot over punitive deductions was successful. 84% voted for strikes and 87% voted for ASOS on a 54.6% turnout.

            : QMUL ʵ's members voted to take ten days of strike action. Strike dates include:

            • Thursday 5 May - Friday 6 May
            • Monday 9 May - Friday 13 May
            • Monday 16 May - Wednesday 18 May

            : Queen Mary, University of London management continue to persecute our members for taking part in lawful industrial action with the latest vindictive threat to close QMUL's Film Studies programme. Please sign the .

            Update, 20 July 2022: QMUL ʵ members had the threat of 100% pay deductions for participation in ASOS hanging over them since 31 January. This week, QMUL management refused to suspend deductions while negotiations were ongoing and instead issued pay slips confirming that 100% deductions would be made and that some staff would lose 21 days' pay this month. London Region is providing assistance to affected members and QMUL has resolved to take further strike action during welcome week under its current mandate. You can and .

            : QMUL ʵ members voted to accept a joint agreement with management to end the marking boycott. The agreement included a 21% increase in London Weighting, no August pay deductions, and commitments to joint work on pay, conditions, and USS pensions.

            Open University: permanent contracts for 4,800 previously casualised associate lecturers

            On 2 August 2022, ʵ hailed a landmark win as The Open University (OU) began rolling out a programme of new permanent contracts for 4,800 previously casualised associate lecturers, the biggest decasualisation programme ever to take place in the UK higher education sector. As a result of the new contracts, which were introduced on 1 August 2022, staff will benefit from enhanced job security, a pay uplift of between 10-15%, additional annual leave, and staff development allowances. 

            Goldsmiths, University of London: redundancies and global academic boycott

            On 2 August 2022, ʵ announced that its members at Goldsmiths have voted to approve a deal with management which brings to an end a ten month-long dispute over redundancies. The initial dispute was over attempts by Goldsmiths senior management to sack 46 staff as part of a 'recovery plan' agreed in a deal with Natwest and Lloyds Banks.  

            As part of the agreement to end the dispute, Goldsmiths senior management have committed to: no further compulsory redundancies; reviewing the use and management of fixed term contracts at the university; protection from redundancy for three years for staff who have already been moved internally to new roles; and enhanced severance for the staff who have already been made redundant.  

            Goldsmiths staff have in turn decided to end the marking and assessment boycott, and will return to marking work across a phased three week period, while ʵ has revoked its grey-listing of the institution.  

            Goldsmiths ʵ will focus on fighting for the reinstatement of Professor Des Freedman and Dr Gholam Khiabany as Head and Deputy Head of the Department of Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies, after they were suspended for simply informing students about the potential impact of the marking boycott. Please calling for Goldsmiths management to reinstate Des Freedman and Gholam Khiabany.

            SOAS: uplift in London weighting

            An intense period of negotiations have led to an uplift of 8% in London weighting rates, increasing the full-time annual rates from £3,616.50 to £3,905.82 (for grades 6 and above) and from £3,875 to £4,185 (grades 3 to 5). In addition there will be a one-off non consolidated payment of £1,000 per person. SOAS ʵ members voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal, and thanks must go to the branch negotiators for their hard work over the past six months.

            Hugh Baird College wins significant pay deal

            ʵ members at Hugh Baird College in Merseyside have won a significant pay rise of up to 9.8% and additional annual leave from next year. The deal comes after an overwhelming 93% of ʵ members who voted said yes to strike action in response to an original offer of just 1%. ʵ said that the win was the result of determined organising and the threat of industrial action from its members at Hugh Baird, and demonstrates that college employers have the resources to give decent pay rises to staff at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis.  The pay deal, voted for by ʵ branch members, amounts to a total offer of up to 9.8%, which includes a £2,668 uplift to the starting salary of lower paid staff and a £500 non-consolidated payment for all staff. ʵ also won an additional three days annual leave per year.   

            Waltham Forest College pay agreement

            ʵ reached a pay agreement with Waltham Forest College in North East London, which will see an average pay award of 6.1% for all staff and the extension of the lecturer pay scale by two spinal points. The union said that the pay deal, voted for by its members at Waltham Forest College, shows there is no excuse for college employers nationally to continue ignoring the severity of the cost of living crisis facing staff by offering huge real terms pay cuts.

            Capital City College Group wins significant pay deal

            ʵ members at Capital City College Group (CCCG) in London have won a significant pay rise of 9% for those earning under £30k, and 6% for those earning between £30k and £45k. ʵ said that the deal was the result of determined organising and industrial action from its members at CCCG, and demonstrates that college employers have the resources to give decent pay rises to staff at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis. 

            University of Sussex: no compulsory redundancies

            The University Executive Group (UEG) at the University of Sussex refused to rule out compulsory redundancies as part of a widely criticised . University of Sussex ʵ branch declared a dispute. Following more than six months of continuing negotiations between ʵ and UEG a number of actions have been agreed; the dispute has been resolved and there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the Size and Shape programme. UEG has now moved forward into implementing the changes with the intention that the Size and Shape Programme will formally conclude by August 2022.

            Hopwood College wins big pay offer

            Strike action due to take place on Tuesday 7 June and Friday 10 June at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale and Middleton, Greater Manchester, has been called off after staff overwhelmingly voted to accept a pay offer worth up to 7.5%.

            Bury College wins big last minute pay offer

            Strike action scheduled to start on Wednesday 18 May 2022 at Bury College was called off after staff overwhelmingly voted to accept an eleventh hour pay offer from management that is worth between 6% and 6.2% overall. The offer is triple management's original offer of only 2%.

            Royal College of Art wins deal

            Mounting frustration of members at the RCA culminated in a resounding call for action to end insecurity and unacceptable terms and conditions at the college. Ill-conceived plans to change all MAs from 2 years to a 12-month rolling programme and to scrap enhanced statutory redundancy procedures for academics are also being resisted.  Members overwhelmingly voted for strike action in an industrial action ballot with 82.8% for strike action and 93.1% for action short of a strike on an excellent turnout of 63%. The RCA were served with formal notice of 14 days of strike action in October and November 2021.

            In subsequent talks being held under the auspices of Acas, the branch were left stunned by comments from the RCA which confirmed that some academics employed by the college would not be granted dedicated research time because of their part-time status. ʵ said this was clearly discriminatory. Basic and fundamental employment rights were also not deemed to be compatible with pedagogical imperatives and new academics would;d not be sufficiently qualified to undertake summative assessment. ʵ believed the RCA's ability to provide a high standard of assessment was under threat and 'the argument that the curriculum is so fluid that it requires no employment rights is disingenuous' adding that 'it's time for the RCA to take these negotiations seriously'.

            Update, January 2022: the last round of Acas negotiations was eventually arranged for 13 December 2021. This was almost two months since the previous Acas meeting and the parties broke up without any agreement, with ʵ representatives disappointed by the RCA's inability to respond on the day to issues flagged in advance for negotiation. RCA sent responses to outstanding issues just before Christmas 2021 which could only be fully reviewed by branch negotiators on 11 January 2022. From initial readings, the branch are pleased to see movement on two of the three outstanding issues and hope to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of members as quickly as possible.

            : RCA ʵ were on strike as part of the Four Fights campaign on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February, and back on strike for the local dispute from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March. RCA senior management failed to meet the agreed deadline for providing a draft agreement. This failure to deliver reneged on the commitment they made in Acas.

            : RCA ʵ achieved victory against casualisation and workload following industrial action. The final agreement would be put to a members' vote. 

            Update, May 2022: ʵ members at the Royal College of Art (RCA) today announced that they have voted to accept recognition from the employer as part of a resolution to a long-running dispute, which has seen 41 days of strike action take place since 2020. The ʵ RCA branch overwhelmingly voted to adopt a deal negotiated with college management which includes:  

            • full employment rights for all 
            • no more zero-hour contracts  
            • new routes to permanent contracts 
            • caps on teaching workloads for staff.

            London South East Colleges (LSEC): pay award agreed

            A 2% pay award backdated to September 2021 has been agreed at London South East Colleges (LSEC) for 2021/22 after successful negotiations with management.

            University of Kent: marking boycott wins no compulsory redundancies deal

            For the third year running University of Kent ʵ have defended against all job cuts. Members balloted four months in advance of 'reviews' of Arts and Humanities subjects and launched a successful marking boycott. The willingness of members to take decisive action backed up by an all-women and non-binary lay negotiating team at Kent ʵ have secured a significant victory: no compulsory redundancy processes in the calendar year 2022. To learn how they won and share experiences on how to save jobs, email Kent ʵ president Claire Hurley.

            Sheffield International College: pay and working conditions

            ʵ members at Sheffield International College called off eight days of planned strike action after the union reached an agreement on the long-standing dispute over pay and holiday entitlements for 2021. Staff at the University of Sheffield International College (USIC), which is part of and run by the private company Study Group, had been in dispute following a breakdown in talks with the employer after it refused to budge from a 0% pay offer. The dispute was also over holiday allowance.

            The deal will see staff receive a 3% pay increase, backdated to September 2021, and equalisation of holiday allowance so that all staff get 30 days leave. This will result in an increase of up to 5 days holiday for the college's student experience team. The employer has also committed to commencing pay negotiations for the period 2022 as soon as possible and has tabled an early offer of 3% which the branch will respond to in due course.  Strike off at University of Sheffield International College as deal is reached

            Newham College: win on pay and conditions

            Staff at Newham College have won improved pay and conditions after successful negotiations between management and ʵ. The deal includes a commitment by the college to improve academic pay scales, implement a 2% pay rise, review sessional tutor's contracts and to implement a workload working group and a sustainability working group.

            West London College: ʵ and Unison agree deal

            ʵ and Unison members at West London College (Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College) have agreed a new deal which delivers the first pay increase staff have had in recent years as well as agreements on workload, holiday and a better deal for support staff.

            Sussex International Study Centre: staff won union recognition

            Members at our newest branch, Sussex International Study Centre, began a statutory recognition ballot on 6 December 2021. The employer continually resisted our positive approaches and refused a voluntary agreement; they spent £1000s on expensive lawyers and consultants rather than recognise ʵ. On 22 December 2021, with a turnout of 74%, and 95% of those voting supported the proposal that ʵ be recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining with the employer.

            Havant and South Downs College dispute: agreement reached

            ʵ members at Havant and South Downs College, along with colleagues in NEU, have now settled their trade dispute with college management. HSDC agreed to the demands of ʵ to halt the redundancies in summer 2021. ʵ and NEU engaged in negotiations with the college, which led to an agreement to full disclosure of financial information, and improvements in college policies and procedures. 74.2% of ʵ members supported the agreement in a ballot.

              University of Leicester redundancies

              Following negotiations between Leicester ʵ and the University of Leicester, an agreement has been reached that has ended the local dispute between the university and ʵ concerning the Shaping for Excellence Programme.

              Leicester ʵ members have . Consequently, the Higher Education Committee officers of ʵ have, following representations on behalf of the branch, agreed to cease the censure and academic boycott of the University of Leicester.

              The agreement commits to no compulsory redundancies as a result of phase 2 of the Shaping for Excellence Programme. The executive board has agreed to rule out beginning any further restructuring leading to collective compulsory redundancies until January 2023. The agreement also sets out a number of joint actions that will be taken forward to achieve an increased focus on partnership working.

              Although the national dispute is ongoing, we are pleased to be able to jointly announce that our local dispute has now ended.

              Capital City College Group: campaign to defend jobs, pay and conditions

              Congratulations to ʵ members at Capital City College Group (CCCG) who have agreed a deal on pay, conditions and lesson observations after taking ten days of strike action. ʵ London official Adam Lincoln said: 'This deal is a testament to our members' determination to fight for fairer pay, working conditions and against excessive monitoring and surveillance of staff. This agreement also levels up pay and holidays across the group.' CCCG includes City and Islington College, College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) and Westminster Kingsway College.

              South Thames Colleges Group wins revised pay offer

              ʵ members at South Thames Colleges Group (STCG), which includes South Thames, Merton, Kingston and Carshalton Colleges, have voted to accept a revised pay offer.

              This adds to STCG's original settlement of 1.25% and guarantees a total 2% consolidated pay increase to all staff earning between £23,000 and £40,000. STCG will also pay a minimum of 2.25% for all those earning below £23,000. This represents in total a welcome investment in staff pay from STCG amounting to nearly £800,000 for the year 2021/22.

              Read the full story here

              Croydon College: ʵ win a wide-ranging pay and conditions deal

              Following a fantastic ballot result and seven days of strike action, Croydon College members have now voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal negotiated by ʵ on pay and other conditions to settle the 2020/21 pay dispute and to formally agree a settlement for 2021/22.

              This agreement represents a significant achievement for members - especially for our lower paid members in learning support roles, and is one of the most comprehensive and wide ranging settlements achieved in the national FE pay dispute 2020/21.

              The deal includes a backdated 2% pay increase for all staff, 5% pay increase for learning support practitioners, learning and development routes into teaching roles, progress coaches moved onto permanent contracts, restriction on the use of external recruitment agencies to short-term urgent cover (agency staffing not more than 2% of any team and agency placements limited to a 3 months). In addition, removal of the first two spine points for teaching staff - with the starting point for qualified teachers approximately £30k. There are additional commitments around workload protection, 4-week summer leave period, simplified pay progression, and moving away from spot salaries for support staff over the longer term.

              This victory was only made possible by the strong support from members for the strike action and the hard work of the ʵ negotiators. Well done to Croydon members and branch officers for what has been achieved as a result of their dispute.

              United Colleges Group: contract dispute resolved

              Following a fantastic ballot result and the threat of strike action, UCG members have now voted overwhelmingly to approve a new harmonised contract and a Collective Agreement to end the long-running contract dispute.

              Members at both UCG colleges - the City of Westminster College and the College of North West London - have been fighting against imposed changes to contractual terms and conditions, including cuts to tutor remission throughout 2021. In April 2021 ʵ members voted overwhelmingly for strike action over changes to agreed contracts imposed by management that would have seen workloads increase. 99% of ʵ members who voted said they were prepared to take strike action. 100% of members who voted said they were prepared to take action short of strike.

              Intensive negotiations took place between ʵ negotiators and UCG management over recent months leading to an in principle agreement being reached. ʵ members have approved a revised harmonised contract (incorporating CPD remission for all teaching staff and additional remission for tutorials) and a Collective Agreement. This harmonised contract is intended to apply to all full-time and fractional teaching/lecturing staff (except those who choose to remain on legacy contracts). A number of other matters raised during the negotiations with the employer such as TOIL and summer leave periods are included in the Collective Agreement. In relation to hourly-paid lecturers, the employer has agreed to maintain your existing contracts and the historical arrangements around payment for tutor groups and CPD for HPLs. This victory was only made possible by the tremendous support members gave to ʵ during the dispute and as a consequence of the industrial action ballot result mandate provided by members. The strength of feeling from members directly contributed to the employer entering into meaningful negotiations with ʵ. Special thanks to the branch officers who have worked tirelessly to secure this outcome for members.

              Birmingham City University: health and safety concerns

              Birmingham City University ʵ was in dispute over failure to agree on on-site learning under Covid-19, and in January 2021 won their industrial ballot to take action. The employer scheduled several open days to take place on campus which members had real concerns about being required to attend. The employer announced a three-week extension of the deadline for students to submit end-of-year assessments, but did not similarly extended the marking deadlines for staff. Action short of a strike began on 8 June 2021, and consisted of: refusing to attend on-site and instead moving online all non-essential activity that can be carried out online, including open days; and working to contractual hours only. The dispute had been resolved.

              Novus prison education: Covid-19 safety dispute

              Following an extended period of industrial action,  a deal has been reached to end the dispute over health & safety issues at Novus prisons.

              Swindon New College win pay and conditions deal

              Congratulations to members at Swindon New College. Following an e-ballot of all members they overwhelmingly (90 % in favour) to settle their dispute with the college after their threat to take strike action led to a deal which includes:

              • full and immediate  harmonisation of pay scales giving  many members at the old Swindon college substantial pay increases backdated to August ( this was previously resisted by college management as not affordable )
              • end to early August return to duties and the right to take off 5 consecutive weeks of leave in the summer ( a demand that members with school age children particularly welcome)
              • agreement establishing the right to work from home once timetabled duties are completed  ( this follows a return to presentism now that F2F is the norm at the college )
              • reduction in class contact hours.

              City of Bristol College ʵ accept deal on pay, holiday and working policies

              Well done to ʵ members at City of Bristol College for securing an impressive deal on pay and other matters as a result of a tremendous ballot result and the threat of strike action. In a consultative ballot, members have voted overwhelmingly to accept that deal to settle the current dispute. The deal includes:

              • a backdated 2.2% pay increase, when the College's previous position was that such an increase was unaffordable
              • additional holiday (closure) days
              • hybrid working policy to be agreed with ʵ this term that increases opportunities for teaching staff to work from home (current contracts require 37 hrs a week on site)
              • to agree additional remission from teaching hours for duties that don't currently attract remission
              • a reduction in the maximum annual teaching contact hours. 

              Congratulations to members and officers for what they have achieved!

              Weymouth College members secure pay deal

              Following a fantastic ballot result and the threat of strike action, Weymouth College members have now voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal negotiated by ʵ on pay and other conditions to settle the 2020/21 pay dispute. The deal includes a backdated 2.2% pay increase, improvements to TOIL and flexible working policies, and limits to scheduling and frequency of staff meetings that might otherwise impact on members' health and well-being and their ability to take proper breaks. Well done to Weymouth members and branch officers for what has been achieved as a result of their engagement and willingness to take strike action if necessary.

              Royal Holloway, University of London

              The senior management team (SMT) at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) recently proposed changes to academic staffing levels as part of a so-called 'academic realignment exercise', which was presented as an element of the college's three-year strategic plan. A number of academics were identified as having their jobs at risk. The branch were successful in getting the college to confirm there were no plans for organisational change and that they would abide by the current policies. The college may still suggest wording for a change to the redundancy policy but this was a successful push-back by ʵ members. 

              City College Plymouth win new deal staff

              After two months of hard negotiation and excellent member engagement, newly-elected branch officers at City College Plymouth beat the anti-trade union law turnout threshold to win local deals for members. Members have voted to settle for a pay deal which includes backdated rises of 2.5% for the lowest paid and 1.5% for others. The deal also includes more leave, agreements on workload, flexible working, increased lecturer autonomy and moves to tackle inequalities. Congratulations are due to all involved especially our members at City College Plymouth and their excellent new branch committee.

              University of Chester job cuts

              Negotiations continue with the university regarding the final four people left on the list of 86 as notified on the section 188 notice in February 2021. No compulsory redundancy notices have been issued and we expect that the remaining four will be redeployed or allowed to leave under a voluntary severance package. In which case the dispute will have been successfully resolved.

              Bangor University ʵ avoids compulsory redundancies

              Bangor University ʵ has ended a protracted and difficult restructuring that lasted nine months, and managed to close the consultation without any compulsory redundancies. The branch also got some important concessions out of the university on their future working relationship.

              University of Liverpool: striking for jobs and vital Covid-19 research

              The long-running dispute at University of Liverpool has ended as ʵ won the battle to avoid any compulsory redundancies. The six-month campaign had already resulted in an international academic boycott, 24 days of industrial action, and a marking boycott against plans that would have originally seen 47 jobs lost in Liverpool's faculty of health and life sciences. Five additional days of industrial action were planned, starting on Monday 4 October, but are now cancelled. Congratulations to University of Liverpool ʵ branch committee, ʵ members, and our regional officials in North West England.

              New City College: restructuring redundancies and redeployments

              Members at New City College have been in dispute since May 2021 over a restructure of supported learning following the failure of the college to rule out compulsory redundancies and detrimental changes to pay and contracts. ʵ ran a consultative e-ballot of members with 95% voting YES for strike action on a 60% turnout. Following collective organising to resist compulsory redundancies, and after many hours of negotiations, the employer has confirmed that there will be zero compulsory redundancies. ʵ remains opposed to some aspects of the restructure and will continue to campaign for a better deal for supported learning staff and students.

              Northumbria University: safe work win

              Congratulations to Northumbria University branch of ʵ who have used their successful industrial action ballot as the leverage to secure an agreement with management that anyone who is uncomfortable with returning to the campus can continue to work remotely.


              Last updated: 17 November 2023