IWGB Cycling Instructors Branch

Who we are

We’re the Cycling Instructors’ Branch of IWGB.

(For the uninitiated, cycling instructors teach bike control skills and safe road riding to adults and children. We also teach cyclist awareness courses to professional drivers, run all-ability cycling sessions and teach beginners to ride.)

Our branch started in London, where the cycle training industry has been established longest, and where we now represent a significant percentage of the instructor workforce. As the government’s Bikeability programme goes national, we’re recruiting more and more members across England.

Why we’re here

Cycling instructors work on casual contracts, poorly paid and vulnerable to management “initiatives” to push costs and risks onto workers. There’s been no pay rise for decades. Instructors were hammered by the Covid pandemic and the industry is struggling to retain experienced instructors, let alone recruit new ones. We’re passionate about the job, but many of us can’t afford to stay in it.

In November 2019 we decided that enough was enough, and formed a branch with IWGB.

What we do

We’re here to represent our members’ interests, and our branch’s primary focus is to campaign for union recognition as a route to improved pay and working conditions.

We engage primarily with local authority clients, but we work with all levels in the industry from the main fund administrators to private-sector service providers. There’s a lot of outsourcing in our industry and, predictably, the main players are very practised at saying workers’ problems are somebody else’s responsibility. We work to change this attitude.

We like to work constructively with stakeholders, but we’re glad to draw on IWGB’s experience in managing persuasive campaigns and negotiations.


Before we unionised, instructors were the least powerful stakeholders in the industry. Real pay had been falling for over a decade, while changes to conditions had, steadily and inexorably, been shifting costs onto instructors.

Since we’ve unionised, we’ve achieved the following:

  • Through both formal and informal recognition, we’ve worked with providers to improve instructor pay and conditions.
  • We’re engaged in constructive discussion about pay and conditions with at least three London boroughs.
  • During the pandemic we lobbied for extra government support for instructors ineligible (due to closure of a provider) for furlough or SEISS.
  • We’ve engaged successfully with the national fund administrator in a number of areas:
  • reducing the cost of training for mandatory recertification
  • improving and standardising the cancellation terms for courses
  • improving transparency around risk management and reducing options for risk-dumping

Get involved!

Join us

If you’re a professional instructor, join us today and get involved in our campaigns or support our working groups: https://iwgb.org.uk/en/join/

Engage with us

If you’re a local authority officer or councillor or a training provider who wants to engage with the Cycling instructors Branch, please drop an email to the Chair at cibchair@iwgb.co.uk, or the Secretary at cibsecretary@iwgb.co.uk.

Follow us

Follow us on twitter.com/IWGB_CIB

If you’re a political organisation or a campaign group who’d like to support one of our campaigns, please email the Branch Chair on cibchair@iwgb.co.uk.

Write about us

If you’re a journalist wanting to write about precarious workers in today’s high-inflation, post-Covid environment, please contact press@iwgb.co.uk or follow the main IWGB social media links at the foot of this page.

© Independent Workers Union of Great Britain 2024

Designed and built at the IWGB with love, care and coffee. Hasta la victoria siempre.

Log in·Contribute