Derby University's vice-chancellor Roger Waterhouse has promised to raise lecturers' pay in the face of a threatened vote of no confidence and industrial action.
Professor Waterhouse told The THES this week he was hoping to bring the university's pay scales up to nationally agreed rates next year, despite holding them down for four years and allegedly telling union chiefs "the issue on pay is closed".
Members of lecturers' union Natfhe, who picketed the university court on Wednesday and have been running an academic boycott, were threatening a vote of no confidence in Derby's management and ballot on strike action unless Professor Waterhouse met them to agree a 0.6 per cent pay rise.
The escalating dispute increased pressure on Professor Waterhouse as Derby faced further revelations this week about its troubled operations in Israel.
He said he would be "delighted" to meet Natfhe representatives, who would find themselves "pushing at an open door" on the question of increasing pay. He said the university had always intended to bring pay scales up to national rates, but had been held back by a "tight" budget.
"I hope we will build into our budget for next financial year a pay increase that means our scales are at or better than national scales," he said.
Derby branch chairman Gary Towler said Natfhe would insist that part-time lecturers should also be paid more, that all lecturers received back pay and that there were no redundancies to meet the cost of the increases. "Each lecturer is owed about Pounds 500," he said.