Low-paid sixth-form college teachers get 2% payrise

Teachers in sixth-form colleges in England will get a pay rise of up to two per cent, backdated to September 2017.

The rise follows negotiations between the National Education Union and the Sixth-Form Colleges Association.

This week the SFCA agreed to increase its pay offer to match the September 2017 increase won by teachers working in schools.

The agreement will give sixth-form teachers on points one to six of the national pay scale an extra two per cent, while those above point six will get one per cent from the same date.

Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Sixth-form college teachers will be pleased that their pay will increase in line with school teachers for another year. The National Education Union worked hard to achieve this deal for its members, who showed their resolution to get a fair deal by rejecting the previous offer.

“The increase is, however, still below inflation and the NEU will continue to lobby to secure fully funded higher pay for teachers in schools and colleges alike.”

Graham Baird, SFCA’s director of HR services who led the negotiations on the employers side, said: “We are pleased to have reached agreement with the recognised trade unions for an across the board increase of 1 per cent on teachers’ pay, with higher targeted increases of 2 per cent on the lowest pay points.

“This agreement is at the edge of affordability for most colleges given the ongoing funding pressures facing the sector, but teachers in sixth form colleges work hard to support their students and it is important that they are rewarded for that.”

General FE colleges across the country were meanwhile facing strike action today over a one-per-cent pay offer made by the Association of Colleges to staff nationwide.

“The below inflation pay offer won’t address the real hardship caused to staff by years of pay suppression in further education,” said Sally Hunt, University and College Union general secretary. “Staff are 24 per cent worse off in real terms than they were a decade ago.”

“We have seen great support on the picket lines today with more to come tomorrow – employers need to address members’ concerns as a matter of urgency,” she added.

AoC boss David Hughes previously spoke out against the industrial action. “I appreciate that the decision to strike is never a decision taken lightly, but it is disappointing that this action is being taken so soon after we agreed to work together with unions to campaign on fair funding for colleges.”