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Why I do the same job for less pay;FE Focus

Terry Cordery, a 59-year-old mechanical engineering lecturer with 30 years' experience, was encouraged to take early retirement last year to help Bournemouth and Poole College balance its books.

He and more than 20 of his colleagues are now back at college teaching the same courses and working roughly the same number of hours as they used to as full-timers.

They have been recruited by Education Lecturing Services to offer their services back to the college on poorer conditions of service.

He now gets pound;13.90 an hour as opposed to the pound;15.40 that contract part-time lecturers are paid and the average pound;18 an hour that full-time staff lecturers receive.

Part-time contract staff are also paid half an hour's preparation and marking time for every hour they teach. Mr Cordery is not paid for any teaching or preparation time. He is not eligible for a pension, sick or holiday pay and cannot get redundancy pay or claim unfair dismissal.

In most respects he is regarded as self-employed and yet ELS deducts PAYE tax and class one National Insurance contributions. The Inland Revenue will not allow him to claim for travelling expenses or to use his home as an office.

He and many of his colleagues now work 40 to 50 hours a week but are only paid for 20 or 21 hours.

"Obviously you have got to do extra work before you can go into a classroom, but you are not going to do hours and hours for nothing. As dedicated as anyone may be, at the end of the day we are all basically working to earn a living.

"Every time there is a crisis financially the first people to be removed are the lecturing staff. Can we afford to lose lecturers? Unfortunately they are the first to be removed."

Mr Cordery, who is married with an adult son, cannot afford to give up working yet.

"I do not hold the college responsible. I think they are in a position where the funding council are cutting back drastically. I know we are quite an affluent college. We have a fair few million in the reserves but they want to try and keep their books balanced - hence the reduction in staff. If they did not, they would go into the red. But where does education come out of it all?"

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