Lecturers’ unions reject pay offer

University and college lecturers’ unions involved in an ongoing dispute over pay have rejected a “derisory” 6% pay increase offered by employers.

The University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) offered pay rises of 3% from August this year and an extra 3% from August 2007.

The main unions staging the dispute, Association of University Teachers (AUT) and Natfhe, did not attend talks earlier this week.

Lecturers are currently refusing to mark work or take part in appraisals. The ongoing action follows a UK-wide strike on 7 March.

The UCEA said the pay increases would cost universities and colleges a total of more than £800m in 2006-07, including contributions to pension schemes, compared with an estimated extra income of £310m from tuition fees.

But Sally Hunt, general secretary of the AUT, said making an offer without the presence of the two largest unions concerned was a “pointless publicity stunt”.

“I am amazed that without us in the meeting to talk them through our fully-costed pay claim, they could possibly think this derisory offer would satisfy our members,” she said.

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