Both sides have said they are optimistic about reaching an agreement, however, and lecturers' union Natfhe said there were no plans for strikes over pay.
* Colleges have made an improved pay offer to lecturers of 2.9 per cent, phased in over two stages next year. The offer was intended to address the pay gap with school teachers, but unions have rejected what would amount to a cash increase over the year of just under 2.5 per cent.
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