The salaries of further education lecturers have slipped significantly behind those of most secondary school teachers in the past decade, according to research from the lecturers' union NATFHE.
The study also found lecturers earn Pounds 6,000 less than the average for professional occupations generally. The union says a flat-rate pay increase of Pounds 1,500 for full-time lecturers is needed to bring salaries into line with other professions. The claim, which represents an increase of 7.5 per cent on a salary of Pounds 20,000, will be submitted to the employers on April 30.
NATFHE and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the second partner in the joint claim, are also seeking a "catch-up" payment for those lecturers still on the original local authority contracts. They want a return to a nationally-agreed pay scale.
However, college principals have already warned that tight budgets may mean they are unable to offer any pay increase for 1996-97.