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Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
College lecturers vote to strike
students preparing for exam
Exam preparations could be hit
College students in England and Wales will have their teaching disrupted because of a one-day pay strike by lecturers.

The action - on 22 May - will involve some 30,000 members of the lecturers' union Natfhe in 280 colleges.

They are demanding a 3,000 pay rise.

In a ballot, the strike was backed by 65% of those who voted. The turnout was 50%.

Natfhe says "other disruptive action" - voted for by 86% - will follow.

'Enough'

Its general secretary, Paul Mackney, said: "This vote reflects the fact that lecturers are completely fed up with watching their school teacher colleagues' pay leap forward, while theirs falls miserably behind.

"Lecturers have said 'enough is enough' with this vote. They are taking a stand for a little more respect."

The union is to meet the employers on 15 May to discuss the pay claim.

The employers, represented by the Association of Colleges, said those going on strike were "a small minority of lecturers".

Negotiations

Their "irresponsible" action would damage colleges' and students' interests, a spokeswoman said.

The association says Natfhe's claim is outside the normal annual round of pay negotiations with the various unions, which usually results in a pay rise in the region of 3%.

Further education pay is negotiated nationally but paid at a college level. Unions complain that some colleges do not pay the agreed rise - although some have paid more.

For the first time this year the government has provided money which will see most lecturers in England getting a rise of about 2,000 over the next two years, the association has said.

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See also:

18 Dec 00 | Education
Union anger over 'missing' wage rise
19 Jul 00 | Education
Performance pay for college lecturers
19 Jun 00 | Education
Colleges dispute cash rewards
04 Jun 98 | UK Systems
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