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Northern Ireland minister to meet UCU over FE dispute

14 December 2006 | last updated: 14 December 2015

The secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has agreed to meet a union deputation on the FE dispute on 15 January 2007 thanks to approaches from UCU Northern Ireland region and UCU joint general secretary, Paul Mackney.

Members in Northern Ireland are planning a sixth day of strike action as part of their long running campaign for pay parity with teachers in schools.

A series of strikes began in May 2006. This was followed by further one-day strikes in September, October and November. They are also operating a widespread work-to-rule and withdrawal of goodwill across the region's 16 further education colleges.

The college employers have agreed that lecturers should have pay parity with schoolteachers and both sides have agreed a mechanism for implementation with backdating to 1 September 2005. However, the employers say that they need government approval to implement the package. Lecturers in Wales have pay parity with schoolteachers.

In the original ballot for action 78% of members voted for strike action and 89% for action short of a strike.