Wales’ largest education union has concerns that the programme of mergers of Post-16 colleges in Wales over the last decade has had an adverse effect on both learners and staff, with the provision of learning varying from one area to another. The National Education Union Cymru understands that these mergers have led to those employed in the Further Education sector in Wales having conditions which generally are less favourable than the Red Book and Schoolteachers’ Pay and Conditions of Service.
David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said:
“The post-16 sector has been hard hit by the impact of austerity in recent years, and it is sad to hear members’ experiences which suggest they are not valued.”
“Years of underfunding have seen the post-16 sector in Wales suffer from restructuring. We will be seeking our members’ views and working with the other trade unions to negotiate better pay and conditions for our members.”
The text of the motion to conference on this issue was as follows:
Motion 12. Post-16 Colleges in Wales
Conference Cymru notes that:
- All colleges in Wales share the same national pay bargaining mechanism.
- The National Contract agreed in 2014 covered all colleges except for one sixth form college in Wales.
- One college in Wales enjoys Sixth Form College (England) national conditions of service, as set out in the Red Book.
- Teachers employed in all other Further Education (FE) Colleges do not enjoy such conditions and have conditions which generally are less favourable than the Red Book and schoolteachers’ pay and conditions of service.
- Like schools, the Post-16 sector continues to be underfunded with a number of college mergers taking place over last decade.
This is has led to:
i. Reluctance by colleges to provide real terms pay rises in line with schoolteachers.
ii. Loss of subjects which recruit low numbers.
iii. An increase in the use of temporary contracts.
iv. An increase in the number of staff employed as instructors to deliver courses.
v. An increase in the number of teachers and lecturers employed on hourly contracts.
vi. Increasing workload pressures for staff in FE Colleges in Wales.
vii. Staff with additional responsibilities not being properly compensated.
Conference Cymru believes the programme of mergers has had an adverse effect on both learners and staff who work and attend Post-16 colleges in Wales with the provision of learning varying from one area to another.
Therefore, Conference Cymru instructs the Executive through the Wales Committee to:
a. Campaign for teachers and lecturers in Post-16 colleges to have pay that is equal to their colleagues in schools in Wales.
b. Consult members regarding their views on the National Contract.
c. Immediately seek to negotiate with Colleges Wales an allowance system to compensate staff with additional teaching and learning responsibilities and the allocation of protected PPA time.
d. Consult on and develop a toolkit for teachers and representatives for tackling workload in Post-16 institutions in Wales.
e. Work with other trade unions to highlight the impact of cuts to post-16 education as part of the School Cuts Cymru campaign.
- David Evans, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07815 071164. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary van den Heuvel, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Email: Mary.VandenHeuvel@neu.org.uk