LECTURERS in further education are being consulted on strike action after seeing their pay fall in value by almost a quarter since 2009.
Despite the plummeting value of lecturers’ salaries, college bosses say they are not in a position to award any pay increase this year.
The University and College Union (UCU) is holding a consultative ballot as a precursor to a full ballot on industrial action, including strikes.
The scale of the pay cut suffered by further education lecturers is revealed in new figures released yesterday by the UCU.
Figures show that while the cost of living as measured by the Retail Price Index has increased by 27.6 per cent since 2009, pay has gone up by only 4 per cent.
This means that staff have suffered a real-terms drop of 23.6 per cent in their pay, according to the union.
UCU highlighted that college staff have fared even worse than public-sector employees who have received a 6.3 per cent increase since 2009 — a real-terms drop of 21.3 per cent.
UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: “As the cut to real pay for experienced lecturers since 2009 exceeds £8,000 it is little wonder that recruitment and retention issues are rife in our colleges.
“Things cannot continue as they are and I have written to colleges to ask them to give their negotiators a clear mandate for better pay at talks later this month.”