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Pay deals stall as EIS pushes for parity

FEWER than half of Scotland's 46 FE colleges have settled lecturers'

pay claims for last year, the latest update from the Educational Institute of Scotland shows.

The average increase in the 21 settlements is 3.04 per cent, which disguises a wide variety of agreements. One-year deals range from 4.4 per cent at Reid Kerr College in Paisley to 2 per cent at Barony College.

A few colleges have entered two or three-year agreements. Cardonald in Glasgow awarded 2 per cent last August followed by 2 per cent from February. Dundee paid out 3 per cent last August with another 0.5 per cent from last month. James Watt College in Greenock agreed 2.15 per cent in April 2000 and 2.15 per cent from October that year as part of a three-year settlement.

The recommendation from the EIS's College Lecturers' Association is that branches should try to negotiate a deal with two elements - a 4 per cent flat-rated rise for all lecturers and a closing of the gap between the top of the basic scale and the pound;28,432 paid at James Watt College, which has the best rate.

The survey shows how far colleges have to go. Local bargaining at college level has widened the gap at the top of the salaries scale to pound;4,000, which Sandy Fowler, the national EIS president, has described as a "disgrace".

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