Principals have two weeks to agree to implement in full the national pay agreement or face the prospect of strike action.
Natfhe, the lecturers' union, has given colleges until December 1 to declare they will honour the deal that gave lecturers a 3 per cent pay rise with effect from August 1.
Barry Lovejoy, head of colleges at Natfhe, said the union would declare "local disputes" with any college that did not guarantee to pay the deal in full. "We have a deal that is signed, and sealed. All that's left is for colleges to deliver." Extra funding of pound;1.2 billion for colleges over three years, meant there were "no excuses", he added.
Following a series of strikes, a two-year deal was agreed between unions and the Association of Colleges earlier this year. But colleges are independent corporations and the agreement is not binding.
The union presented AoC conference delegates this week with a giant "invoice" demanding "payment in full". The AoC said implementation would depend on colleges achieving targets and so drawing in sufficient funding.