Lecturers in the 16 further education colleges around Northern Ireland are due to go on strike for the sixth time since May last year.
Lecturers have striked several times
The strikes are part of a campaign for higher pay, in line with school teachers.
Previous stoppages won widespread support from the staff and seriously affected classes.
The university and colleges union said it had been pleased with words of encouragement from the NI secretary.
However, there is still no extra money on offer from Peter Hain.
The government has imposed a cap on public sector pay.
The college employers said they have worked tirelessly on behalf of the lecturers to settle the dispute.
They said they regret the effect of industrial action on student services and staff morale and that they want a speedy resolution to the dispute.