Academic pay must increase by 30 per cent, according to claims presented to employers this week.
Lecturers' union Natfhe has called for an immediate 10 per cent pay rise for members in the new universities and a commitment from employers to close the 30 per cent pay gap between lecturers and comparable professions.
It wants employers to update the national contract to deal with increased burdens on staff caused by extra students and new demands from information technology and research.
Other demands include: an end to using part-time, temporary staff to cut costs; an increase in London Weighting allowances; paid parental leave and a common settlement date.
The Association of University Teachers is also meeting employers today to present formally its pay claim of 30 per cent over the next four years.
This year's pay round is likely to be the last before the national council, recommended by the Bett committee, is set up.
A draft report, drawn up by the Trades Union Congress, is now circulating describing the organisation of the new council.
But the two sides, which hope to meet before Easter, remain divided over Bett's suggestion that the council should determine terms and conditions as well as pay.
Of the 115 higher education institutions who responded to UCEA's consultation at the
beginning of this year, more than 80 per cent voted to be clear in
any negotiation with unions that the national council would not have power over terms and conditions.
UCEA has decided to negotiate with trade unions on this basis.