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Hold your nerve on IFL fees

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by cardoon, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. well i have just received my summer magazine from IFL and a letter saying i now have untill 22 July to pay my fees just like the 58000 other associates .It realy is time for this quango to close down. Come on Toni "do the decent thing"
     
  2. amica

    amica New commenter

    I am now hamstrung because the funding bodies for the course I teach amounting to perhaps 40 hrs per annum have decided that all tutors on their courses must be IfL registered. Ludicrous, but their argument will be that with govt. funding, they must ensure that all tutors are top notch etc - as if IfL membership would ensure quality of tutors! I already have my qualifications, but it seems that is not enough. Any ideas, apart from giving up the those hours or paying up?
     
  3. Here's what I'd do: don't renew your IfL membership but keep your old membership card. Keep teaching your 40 hours. When the funding bodies for your course ask for your IfL membership number give them your expired one. Wait and see what happens. If nothing happens you've retained your contract of employment without renewing and paying your IfL subs. If you get sussed it shows that your employer has indeed checked with the IfL and you've been rumbled. That teaches you something in itself. But don't worry: simply say there must have been some sort of clerical error and then either (a) pay up and accept defeat (at least you tried!) or (b) resign your employment as a matter of principle.
    But don't just give up and pay up. See what you can get away with first. Remember: every IfL member who doesn't renew puts another nail in the IfL's coffin. As the OP says: hold your nerve.
     
  4. As UCU have now voted to boycott the IfL fees, continuing to hold your nerve seems to be the short order:
    (UCU, 25/7/2011)

     
  5. I always thought that unions were not allowed (trade union act) to
    ask their members to break the law. If the only action UCU has balloted
    its members on is not paying their fees, aren't they asking their
    members to do just that? Hope they've thought this through, because if
    their members lose jobs as a result of being instructed to take illegal
    industrial action they could be on the sharp end of a series of messy
    and expensive compensation claims. I wonder if the TES will come out against UCU and, in particular, the general secretary when it becomes clear that the union has backed itself into a very tight corner by not fully considering the action it is requiring members to take.
     
  6. Quite the opposite in fact.
    Union members who breach their contract of employment after a legally conducted ballot are protected by law from dismissal subject to various conditions, (The Employment Relations Act 2004), see http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/10-922-industrial-action-employee-guide
    Yes I have thanks.
    No one has instructed me to take industrial action; I have chosen to do so.
    UCU has not instructed anyone to take industrial action; it has no power to do so.
    There is nothing whatsoever illegal about the industrial action now taking place. Again quite the opposite is true.
    In what way a tight corner?

     
  7. Makes you wonder, doesn't it, S+T?
    How the blazes would a union work of it couldn't protect the rights of its members whilst challenging the status quo?
    Sometimes I despair!
     
  8. Hmmmm, either you've misunderstood me or are being deliberately tangential. This isn't about breaching a contract of employment, it is about breaking the law. Full stop. Interestingly, the guidance you cite requires atrade union to identify in any ballot the "potentially serious consequences of taking industrial action, regardless of whether an instruction by their union to do so is lawful or not"....... whoops!!
    Thanks for that though, not often someone drives a truck through their own position.

     
  9. It is, if I am not mistaken, against the law for a college to employ someone who is not a member of IfL and the regulations make it clear it is the responsibility of the individual teacher to be registered.
    Ohh dear
     
  10. Yes it is.
    There are lots of different kinds of law, and lots of different laws embodied within my contract of employment. One of those laws is the FE Regs 2007 which I, and my employer, will now be in breach of. But the only possible way of enforcing this law is for my employer to dismiss me. Something they simply cannot do do (even if they wanted to, which they don't) because I am involved in a legal trade dispute.
    Which is exactly what UCU do, which is why the ballot and subsequent industrial action is legal.
     
  11. Indeed it is. But the only remedy would be for the SFA to withdraw funding, something which is not going to happen.
    I believe so. Again the only remedy would be dismissal, which again is something that is not going to happen.
    And your point is?
     
  12. Such patience, S+T, I applaud you [​IMG]
     
  13. Strange, in an earlier post you said it was your action, not that of a trade union.
    Would much appreciate a link to the ballot instructions informing members that they would be breaking the law.

     
  14. If I were you I would cross your fingers........
    PS - not in the case of colleges, where it is not about SFA funding.
    .....and keep them crossed


     
  15. Ballot instructions were hard copy in the mail, so no link available. However I do have a copy in front of me.
    The UCU are playing a very complex game on this one. Legally they cannot be in dispute with the IfL directly, so technically they ballotted for industrial action against the employer (the college you work for). The UCU attempted negotiation with the AoC, but "the Association of College refused to recommend to colleges and other employers that they pay any compensation to staff who are forced to pay to join the IfL" (UCU, 2011).
    If your employer is anything like mine they have already written/emailed you as a member of staff telling you that they have no intention of picking up the tab for you, and expect you to renew your own membership.
    The UCU say "staff are therefore caught between a professional body in which they have no faith, and employers who refuse to pick up the tab for something they say is a requirement for teaching staff"(Ibid.). What the UCU have set up then is a dispute between employers and staff about the employer not paying the fees.
    Regarding the dispute then UCU describe it as being a "breach of contract". There is no mention in this document of staff being asked to break the law.

     
  16. Both are true. These are by definition mutually inclusive positions.
    The bottom line is, whatever your view, that the AoC (and my college) has so far accepted that the current industrial action is legal.
     
  17. It is notable that so far the SFA has made no comment on the issue, in any case my college is too big, with too many rosettes in the window, to be easily threatened by the SFA in this way.
    Absolutely no need. There is not the remotest threat that I (and the vast majority of my colleagues) face any kind of disciplinary action. The management at my college have not even issued the normal reminder to complete CPD returns to the IfL. They are not fools. This is not a matter they wish to fight their staff over. And in any case, as matters stand, I am still a member of the IfL.

    What was your point again?
     
  18. I think you will find you are not.
    It has nothing to do with the SFA
     
  19. Either you are taking action on your own, in which case you have no protection, or are taking it as a result of the ballot, in which case UCU have failed to inform members that their action is illegal. You can't have it both ways, no matter how much you protest.
    You possibly need to check that with the AoC as I understand they are not recognising an industrial dispute.


     
  20. Well if I'm not a member, then the IfL have yet to inform me that I'm not. I dare say in due course they will, but so far zip.
    Care to expand?
     

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