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further education teachers in dispute over IfL's membership charge

26 July 2011

The University and College Union (UCU) has threatened legal action if the Institute for Learning (IfL) are to go ahead with proposed plans to lapse membership for those who refuse to pay a new £38 membership fee. Under current regulations, all Further Education teachers must be members of the IfL, but the UCU contends that banning teachers from the classroom is not only potentially unlawful, but also “wholly unreasonable and irrational”.

The outcome of this dispute is unclear as both sides have begun to gain significant support from other parties. The UCU gained a considerable boost when the Worker’s Education Association also began boycotting the IfL, and the IfL in turn was strengthened by comments from skills minister John Haynes who stated that he had no power to stop the IfL setting their own membership fee.

At a time of vast public sector cuts it is odd that the IfL have put up so much resistance to the UCU’s comments, and the looming crisis begs the question: are we on the verge of seeing huge educational deregulation?

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