THE University and College Union (UCU) is recommending its members accept a revised pay offer from Economy Minister Conor Murphy.

The UCU represent the majority of lecturers in Further Education and had rejected a previous offer of five per cent plus a non-consolidated payment of £1,500 after surveying its members who voted by 96 per cent to reject it as ‘derisory'.

UCU Northern Ireland Official, Katharine Clarke said: “The revised offer of 8.4 per cent plus £1,000 on all salary points marks a significant step in the right direction to closing the education pay gap with schoolteachers.

"We also welcome the Minister’s and employers’ commitment to independently review workload and revise the industrial relations model.

"There is still work to be done on pay and other contractual reform, but the UCU is confident all parties wish to see progressive settlements for the hard-working staff in colleges. The UCU has today opened a ballot of its members on the revised offer with a recommendation to accept.”

The Economy Minister, Conor Murphy, said: “Further education lecturers are vital to providing the skills that grow our economy. I am therefore pleased to facilitate this pay offer as a first step towards parity with teachers.” 

Earlier this week all five teachers' unions agreed to a backdated pay offer for 2021-2023. The new offer will also increase starting salaries and bring pay up to par with England.