Further Education (FE) (Northern Ireland)

The NASUWT is one of two recognised unions for lecturers in Northern Ireland’s six further education colleges.

While teachers working in all sectors of the education system face many similar challenges and concerns, the NASUWT recognises that FE lecturers can face particular issues and challenges.

One of the biggest issues facing lecturers in Northern Ireland is the intransigence of the employers in relation to linking any proposed pay increase to detrimental changes to the lecturer contract.

Industrial action

The NASUWT commenced industrial action on 13 May 2021 in furtherance of a trade dispute over pay, workload and adverse working conditions.

NASUWT members should refuse to:

  1. attend meetings that are not contractually required;

  2. teach or attend meetings or other events outside their contracted working hours;

  3. attend meetings or undertake other non-contracted activities (eg travelling between sites) during lunch breaks;

  4. undertake cover for absent colleagues;

  5. engage in additional duties without additional remuneration;

  6. undertake any voluntary activities;

  7. undertake activities affected by industrial action by NASUWT members or by industrial action by members of other trade unions;

  8. reschedule activities previously agreed in the timetable or calendar.

Why is the NASUWT engaging in industrial action in FE colleges?

NASUWT members voted to take industrial action because of pay falling far behind inflation and significantly behind that of teachers in schools doing the same job. Lecturers have been offered 7% paid over a four-year period, but it is dependent on the employers making significant cost savings elsewhere.

These changes include increasing Student Contact Time (SCT) from 828 hours to 860 hours per annum, phased in over a three-year period.