Sixth-form college staff eye performance pay

SIXTH-FORM college teachers can expect a 3.5 per cent pay rise and the possibility of performance-related pay as part of a new agreement with employers.

The increase, to take effect in September this year, was agreed at a meeting of the national joint council for sixth-form college staff, which is made up of employers and teacher unions.

The council also agreed to work towards a new pay structure, which could include a performance element. This structure is expected to be in place by September 2001.

While the increase will be

widely welcomed, there have been mixed reactions to the idea of extending the Government's controversial performance pay structure for school teachers into post-16 education.

Eamonn O'Kane, the deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, predicted that sixth-form college teachers would feel left out if they were not offered the pay increases beingintroduced in schools.

Mr O'Kane said: "The objection to performance-related pay is the idea that pay might be solely linked to pupils' results but, if you also include other standards, we don't see any particular objections."

Barry Fawcett, assistant general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the thresholds may have proved too unpopular in schools to be introduced in colleges.

Sixth-form college teachers are generally around pound;2,000 behind their counterparts in schools and the increase, which compares with 3.3 per cent in schools, only goes a small way towards bridging this gap.

In some cases, the gap will widen sharply as school teachers who pass the performance threshold to a new, higher pay scale will get an immediate increase of pound;2,000.

The council deal will have to be ratified by the NUT, which ballots its members this month, the

NASUWT and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

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