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Update on exciting new contract at RuTC

Thursday 1 September 2022
Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) new teaching staff contract comes into effect from 1st September 2022 in order to support improvements in the student experience. The College leadership are saddened by the fact that agreement could not be reached with UCU through the extended consultation and negotiation process, which began in March 2022 and ended with no engagement or counter-proposals having been offered by UCUAs a result, the College entered into individual consultations with our teaching staff. It has always been our stated and genuine desire to reach a collective agreement and the Section 188 notice was issued solely by way of transparency around the process should it not be possible to do so. It is our deep regret that circumstances have resulted in the College having to implement the final resort of dismissal and re-engagement.

Both parties
have agreed on the following joint statement:

  • ·         Representatives from Richmond upon Thames College and University College Union            attended two meetings at ACAS to resolve a trade dispute concerning changes to                  Terms and Conditions.
  • ·         Both UCU and College colleagues engaged in the discussions. 
  • ·         No agreement was reached.

Proposals were discussed after the consultation period closed in May and the sole proposal made by UCU in August 2022 had significant financial and recruitment-related implications that the College does not feel are in the best interests of our teaching staff or students. Furthermore, the College has a moral obligation to honour the new contract to which the significant majority of current RuTC teaching staff have signed over the last three months. In addition, all newly-appointed staff have been recruited on these more favourable terms and conditions and the College must honour this. This contract has an increased new salary scale, benchmarked with the sector, without an associated increase in workload. RuTC now offers a competitive salary in this very difficult recruitment climate which gives a welcome increase in earnings at a time of significant cost-of-living rises. We are implementing an exciting new teaching staff development programme and we have created space for teachers to collaborate and reflect, with additional time for planning, preparation, assessment and support for students for which teachers will be fully remunerated.

The College is disappointed that UCU colleagues are striking on Monday 5th September, which is the beginning of the term for new students who have secured their college place. For our students this an exciting opportunity and a new future and a time to immerse themselves in our vibrant and diverse student community. We hope that UCU will recognise how important this time is for our students whose education and learning experience have already been penalised through the impact of the pandemic and that they cancel the strike action. 

It is the leadership team’s sincere hope that we can now move on and begin to rebuild morale and relationships with a view to working together to achieve whole-college improvements in the student experience.

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