FE colleges and trade unions agree cost-of-living supplement and uprated Real Living Wage

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This is a joint statement issued by ColegauCymru and the joint trade unions.

Following a request from the joint trade unions, further education colleges and trade unions in Wales have agreed to the payment of a cost-of-living supplement to support staff in FE, as well as the payment of the uprated Real Living Wage.  

Depending on individual staff members’ current pay arrangements, the following will apply: 

  1. Staff currently subject to the RLW will receive payment of the uprated value of £10.90 an hour (i.e. a 10.1% increase) before the end of December 2022, backdated to 1st August 2022. This means that all further education colleges will be implementing the increase in the Real Living Wage. Staff will continue to receive the uprated value of the RLW from January 2023 onwards. Backdating the RLW to 1st August (i.e. prior to the announcement of the uprated RLW) will need to be seen as a one-off response to an exceptional set of circumstances and not a commitment to do the same in future years.
  2. Staff not subject to the RLW will receive a 5% cost-of-living ‘supplement’ before the end of December 2022, backdated to 1 August 2022. The consolidated 5% cost-of-living ‘supplement’ will be ongoing from January 2023. The supplement will be paid on a no prejudice basis: it will have no bearing on the conduct of the pay negotiations which would continue through the agreed – and separate – process. However, the cost of the supplement to employers would be offset against the level of the pay settlement, once agreed. 

The payment will be made to all college staff in December 2022 and will be ongoing from January 2023 and subject to further negotiations with the joint trade unions. The agreement has been developed in the spirit of social partnership, and we will continue to work together constructively through this challenging period.  

Colleges and trade unions recognise the difficulties for staff of cost-of-living pressures, and this positive action is aimed at providing temporary support. These supplementary payments are in direct response to the cost-of-living crisis and are without prejudice to the wider pay negotiation. 

It is recognised that there may need to be discussion at an institution level to clarify the local impact of the agreement. Colleges and joint trade unions will meet again on 12 January 2023 to continue discussions on the ongoing pay negotiation.

Further Information
Rachel Cable, Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Rachel Cable@ColegauCymru.ac.uk

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