Some colleges of further education are too financially insecure to pay any salary increase this year or even to pay staff to shift to personal contracts, according to the Colleges Employers Forum.
The CEF recommended this week that college chief executives offer FE staff still working on the old Silver Book conditions more than the pay increase proposed for those already on contracts to tempt them to sign new contracts by July 3l.
It also advised them to offer those who refuse to sign no pay increase - for the second year running.
Last Friday, employers turned down the joint pay claim for a flat rate increase of Pounds 2,800 a year put forward by Natfhe, the university and college lecturers's union and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
But in the same bulletin the CEF says that it has advised the unions that some corporations were not in a position to make the size of awards they wanted to because of the new funding methodology, and that some had abandoned transfers from the Silver Book for lack of money.
The CEF wants Silver Book holders to be offered 5.6 per cent, or Pounds 872 on the average Pounds l5,585 salary as at l993, when they had their last increase, and Pounds l,269 on the average senior lecturer scale of Pounds 22,665, in return for signing new contracts.
The rise is composed of 2.9 per cent allocated to those who signed or were on contracts last year and the 2.7 per cent being recommended for this year. Staff who sign after July 3l will only get the 2.7 per cent, as will existing contract holders.
The CEF says that the offer is final and that those who refuse to sign now face a pay differential of Pounds 2-3,000. It says roughly a third of the 55,000 staff have not signed contracts.
Sue Berryman, chief negotiator for Natfhe, said that the offer was vindictive towards Silver Book holders, who since the formation of the corporations had worked hard to meet the expansion in student numbers.