Thousands of further education college lecturers are facing the imposition of a salary freeze for the second year running after the breakdown of pay talks.
The Colleges' Employers' Forum is again offering a rise to holders of the local authority Silver Book contract only if they first sign a new contract.
Both lecturers' unions, Natfhe and ATL, rejected the CEF offer of a 2.7 per cent rise from August 1 for current holders of new contracts. The CEF will pay a further 2.9 per cent to Silver Book holders who transfer to a new contract by July 31.
CEF chief executive Roger Ward said: "To turn down 2.7 per cent, which is the going rate in the public sector, is a travesty. CEF will rescue the members from their own union leadership and implement the offer immediately. For those who volunteer to stay on the Silver Book we have offered 0 per cent. This has been rejected. Nonetheless it will be implemented."
He added: "A less than conciliatory approach was adopted by the CEF over the pay round because I believe those staff who failed to see the future, which is the new contract, may not in the long run really be appropriate professionals to stay in the education service."
ATL deputy general secretary Gerald Imison said: "Silver Book staff have a clear contractual right to take the position they have. It is vindictive to try and starve them out by refusing to give them a pay rise."
Natfhe national negotiating secretary Sue Berryman said: "Talks broke down because 2.7 per cent is insufficient to reward lecturers for the productivity gains of the past year, and because of the vindictiveness to those remaining on the Silver Book contract."
Natfhe said it was planning industrial action for September in protest at the CEF's position.