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Northern Ireland college lecturers still waiting for pay increase promised last year

Some waiting for thousands of pounds

Further Education College lecturers in Northern Ireland are still waiting to receive a pay increase promised to them last year.

The Teachers’ Union (NASUWT) has hit out at the treatment of lecturers by the Department of the Economy and Colleges Northern Ireland.

The lecturers are the only public sector workers in Northern Ireland not to receive their annual pay increment owed from September last year.

Some lecturers are owed as much as £3,500.

School teachers were notified on the August 23, 2017, that the Department of Education had secured Department of Finance approval to provide temporary cover for pay progression in September 2017 and all teachers who were due this payment received it by the end of October 2017.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “It is simply unacceptable that payments to which FE lecturers are entitled have still not been paid.

“Members are understandably angry about this and it is adding to the financial burdens which year–on-year pay cuts have already imposed.

“There is no justification for the differential and unfair treatment that lecturers are facing.”

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT national official Northern Ireland, said: “Our members have bills to pay and many are facing hardship and stress as a result of the failure of the colleges and the Department of the Economy to look after the interests of their employees.”

Colleges NI previously said the delay was caused by the Department for the Economy not releasing its guidance until December 2017.

The organisation said earlier this month payments were “imminent” and the business case had already been submitted to the Department for Education.

A Department for the Economy spokesperson said: “Further Education Colleges are Non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) of the Department for the Economy (DfE) and colleges, as the employer, are responsible for seeking approval to implement pay increases and pay awards in line with the Pay Remit Approval Process and Guidance issued from the Department of Finance (DoF).  

“Further Education colleges have submitted a request for temporary approval to DfE for payment of incremental progression. This is currently with DoF for consideration. Colleges cannot progress payment until the appropriate approval is provided.  When approval is granted, pay will be backdated and paid by colleges at the earliest opportunity.”

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