Solihull College UCU Rotating Header Image

June 7th, 2011:

IfL “deal” announced – Ballot to follow

 As intimated in the Congres report, a deal on reduced IfL Fees has been reached, a members ballot is to follow on this as well.




Urgent IFL Update



Dear Colleagues


You may have already be aware through a letter sent to IFL members today that a recommended resolution to the current dispute has been achieved through the government facilitated talks with UCU,  AOC,IFL and other trade unions. The statement arising from the talks can be found at IfL website



A letter ( see below)  has been sent  to all members from Sally and myself today and a press release



This confirms that all members will be consulted on the proposals through a ballot which will open in the next few days. More information will follow. Members are advised to continue not to make any payment until the consultation process is completed,


Barry Lovejoy


National Head of FE


Letter to all members:


Subject: Important news about the IfL

Dear colleague,
We are writing to you with important news about our IfL campaign.
You may have received a message from the IfL this morning stating that they have reduced their fees. We wanted to write to you in person to spell out exactly where we are and what happens next.
As you know, UCU and the other trade unions have been in tripartite negotiations with the government and with the employers to try to find a negotiated settlement.
These discussions followed a fantastic campaign in which 22,000 members signed a mass petition protesting the hike in IfL fees, and withheld their membership in the face of significant pressure.
The negotiations that followed have often been tough but we have negotiated some substantial concessions.
The key concessions are:
1. Reduced fee: The fee for IfL registration has been lowered to £38, almost half what it was. Those who have paid the £68 fee will have two years’ membership. The deadline for registration has been extended until 22 July.

2. Review of IfL: IfL has agreed to set up a reference group with trade unions, employers and BIS where appropriate. The review will look at IfL’s governance, regulatory responsibilities, membership services, its operation and future fee levels.

3. Principle of employer assistance: The employers have recognised that individuals may  approach their employers to seek support in the payment of  fees. UCU will advise members and branches to pursue this option  and where necessary will provide appropriate support.
You can download the full agreed statement here:

We must be clear. We have not got everything that we wanted and feeling on this issue is strong.
However, we should also be clear that UCU’s campaigning and negotiating has won some major concessions.
These concessions reduce the financial burden on members considerably. In addition, we have won what we think is a far-reaching and comprehensive review of how IfL works. We have changed the terms of the debate about IfL. If UCU members were to accept the proposals outlined here, we would have the real opportunity to influence the IfL’s future development.
Considering where we started from earlier this year, it’s clear to us that UCU’s campaign has been highly effective. We believe that this is the best that can be achieved through negotiations and that the alternative would be a full boycott of IfL.
The final decision about where we go next must lie with members. For that reason, we have asked ERS to conduct an email-based ballot of all UCU members in FE. In the next few days, you will be contacted with ERS with a ballot statement and you will be asked whether you support the proposals for resolving the dispute outlined here.
Thanks for your continued support,
Barry Lovejoy, National head of further education
Sally Hunt, General Secretary