What is it about?
The NEU is in dispute with the Secretary of State in relation to the pay, working conditions and security of employment of NEU members in the sector and in particular the detrimental effects on these of the cuts in college funding since 2010.
The NEU has asked the Secretary of State to address this by increasing the funding rate per student as proposed by the Raise the Rate campaign to which the NEU is a signatory, and by paying the Teachers’ Pay Grant to all sixth form colleges in order to support an adequate pay increase. He has declined to take these steps.
The impact on pay
Teachers and support staff in sixth form colleges have suffered a substantial real terms cut in the value of their pay since 2010. Their pay has also fallen back compared to other workers. Now the parity for sixth form college teachers with schools has been lost as well.
The Secretary of State’s decision to provide the Teachers Pay Grant only to those colleges with academy status was one of the main reasons why the NEU and SFCA could not reach a 2018 pay agreement for teachers maintaining pay parity with schools.
The impact on working conditions - affecting staff, students and the sector
Sixth form colleges suffered a 22% reduction in real terms funding between 2010/11 and 2016/17 - deeper cuts than any other group of education institutions.
During this period, there was a 15% reduction in teaching staff numbers despite a 6% increase in the number of students.
The consequences of the funding cuts are that:
- SFCs are teaching students in larger classes, increasing teachers’ workload significantly,
- there have been significant cuts in support staff posts,
- responsibility payments have been removed,
- teachers’ contact time has been increased, and
- staff training budgets have been reduced.
About the ballot
The National Education Union (NEU) is formally balloting its members in the sixth form colleges sector about taking discontinuous strike action during the autumn and spring terms. We are asking for a significant improvement in the pay and working conditions of NEU members, requiring not merely a cessation of the real terms cuts in funding but their reversal.
The ballot will be conducted on a college by college basis and will require a majority and 50% turnout in each college for action by members in that college.
The ballot runs from June 10 to September 2019.
Who is being balloted?
- The NEU is balloting teacher and support staff members in the sixth form college sector.
What you need to do:
- Please VOTE YES to action in support of our campaign for better pay and working conditions for all employees in sixth form colleges.
- Encourage colleagues to do likewise.
- Talk to your representative about organising a meeting using our ballot resources
- Share with colleagues on Twitter and Facebook
If you do not receive a ballot paper by 17 June, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, college and membership number.
Your ‘Yes’ vote stops a thousand cuts. Please vote as soon as you can.
Watch and share why you should vote in the sixth form ballot
Your YES vote in our sixth form colleges ballot will make a difference to support better pay and working conditions for all employees.
Use this save the sixth form college sector presentation in meetings.
Sixth form colleges briefing on NEU ballot on industrial action
Sixth form college ballot poster
Sixth form colleges ballot postcard