A reasonable offer scorned

31st March 2006 at 01:00
Your report on lecturers' pay ("Strike alert after 'slap in face' pay offer", FE Focus, March 24) pointed out that all six FE unions rejected the "insulting" 1.5 per cent increase offered to them last week by the Association of Colleges.

You didn't mention that, acknowledging the difficult funding climate at some colleges, we suggested measures such as phased pay increases or a longer pay agreement to enable the best outcome for staff in the most affordable way for colleges.

In fact, the unions have been making these suggestions to the AoC for months but instead of considering them, the AoC made their extraordinary offer which would put lecturers a further 1.4 per cent behind schoolteachers next year.

So yet again, the battle lines have been drawn. As the slogan on Natfhe leaflets distributed at a rally outside last year's AoC conference stated: "There must be a better way".

Barry Lovejoy Head of colleges department Natfhe Britannia Street, London WC1

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