Unions representing college lecturers and support staff have asked for a wage increase in line with teacher’s earnings.
They want an increase in excess of the rate of inflation and full parity with school teachers, who are believed to earn 6% more.
The claim also seeks improvements for staff in holidays, a maximum 35-hour week, entitlement to 30 hours of paid annual professional training and an agreement to commence negotiations on workloads.
Barry Lovejoy, head of further education at UCU, and joint secretary of the negotiating team, said: “Recent pay settlements have made some progress towards pay parity with school teachers, which demonstrates the benefits of national pay bargaining.
“However, the remaining pay gap must be bridged and bargaining procedures must be strengthened. It is not acceptable that lecturers continue to earn 6% less than schoolteachers.”
Unison official Christine Lewis said: “Progress has been made on the minimum wage, but we need to push for sector-wide job evaluations… to achieve fair and equal pay.”