Staff at Hopwood Hall College have secured another significant pay rise – this time of 9.2 per cent for most lecturers.
The award for 2022/23, announced today by the University and College Union, comes just months after staff at the college in Rochdale secured an increase of up to 7.5 per cent for the 2021/22 academic year.
Staff at Hopwood Hall called off strike action earlier this year due to “meaningful” pay negotiations taking place, the UCU said.
This year’s deal will be back dated to August. It is worth 9.2 per cent 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 per cent, over £5,000, according to the union.
Hopwood Hall College’s latest accounts, for the year ending July 2021, show a health financial position after it achieved an underlying group operating surplus of £1.7 million and cash reserves of £16.1 million.
The new pay deal also includes a “commitment to creating a joint workload agreement with UCU before the end of the academic year”.
Elsewhere, more than 30 colleges across England have seen up to 10 days of strike action over the past two months over pay, in what the UCU said has been the biggest wave of industrial action England’s colleges have ever seen.
The UCU rejected a 2.5 per cent offer from the Association of Colleges in June, describing it as “totally unacceptable”. That had been increased from first 1 per cent and then 2.25 per cent.
Staff across the country are calling for a 10 per cent rise with a minimum uplift of £2,000 to help them cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
Many college leaders have argued that significant pay increases, even of 2.5 per cent, are “simply unaffordable” due to inflationary pressures on budgets and a decade of funding cuts.
Commenting on the Hopwood Hall deal, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This is a huge win for our members at Hopwood Hall and will mean staff have more money in their pockets to deal with the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills.
“If other colleges want to avoid any more strike action over the coming months then they also need to make pay offers that address these issues. Otherwise, they will face further disruption.”
Hopwood Hall College declined to comment on the offer.