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Sixth-form dream of FE;Letter

YOUR report on the problems facing sixth-form colleges (TES,September 10) as a result of worsening conditions and salaries is distressing but there is no comparison with the problems of those teaching in FE colleges.

A quick glance at your job advertisements reveals that most FE colleges offer lecturers up to pound;20,000 with many advertising teaching posts at a maximum salary of around pound;15,000.

As the top point of the FE lecturers scale is currently pound;23,400 it is plain that colleges have cut salaries by more than pound;8,000 a year by offering banded posts.

But to suggest that the solution is in the hands of the Association of Colleges lobbying for lecturers is astounding. Is the association suggesting that those who actively colluded with previous governments to reduce staffing costs and who developed the iniquitous pay banding systems are now the ones who will solve the problem? The current pay offer from the association is 3 per cent. This does not reflect a commitment to raising pay.

Since incorporation lecturers in FE colleges have seen their workload increase and their salaries decrease while management salaries have rocketed. The argument from the association that colleges are businesses, yet how many businesses have the price of their products set by the Government.

It is only the association that uses this argument to support the outdated ethos of paying staff as little as possible as is reflected in your new cartoon strip NBFE.

Sixth-form colleges staff get pound;600 less than teachers, many FE staff only dream of this.

Rob Creasy

50 Howden Close



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