In England and Wales, there are national recommendations on pay and benefits, negotiated by the Association of Colleges and the recognised trade unions in the National Joint Forum. These are not binding on college corporations. However, the Welsh Assembly has made funding for pay conditional upon the acceptance of agreements, so all colleges have adopted the recommendations in full to date. In England, colleges often negotiate local packages, leading to an extremely wide range of pay and benefits within the sector.

In Scotland, there is no central negotiating body and colleges determine their own negotiated settlements.

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