A joint delegation of further education college employers and unions met further and higher education minister Baroness Blackstone this week to beg for more money for colleges.
It was the first time the Association of Colleges and Association of College Managers had combined with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Natfhe and public service union Unison to lobby for better pay.
They argued that the sector needed help with further professionalisation, long-term planning, and attracting, retaining and rewarding high-quality staff.
Particularly urgent, they said, was the need for comprehensive statistics on staffing issues.
Sue Berryman, head of the colleges department at Natfhe, said: "It was a very positive meeting."
The Association of Colleges has made a final offer of a 3 per cent pay rise for FE lecturers, raising their initial offer of 2.7 per cent.