REDDITCH NEW College lecturers will hit the picket line tomorrow in a one-day strike over pay.

About 60 teaching staff are expected to walk out in protest at the average 10 per pay discrepancy between college lecturers and schoolteachers.

The action has been called by the University and College Lecturers' Union, NATFHE.

Some colleges have agreed to bridge the gap but there have been no negotiations at NEW College.

NATFHE branch chairman Ian Webster said: "The employers' organisation, the Association of Colleges, agreed a pay deal with the recognised trade unions 18 months ago.

"This would have bridged the gap between college and schoolteachers' salaries.

"But NEW College have still not implemented this national agreement."

He added: "The last salary increase was three per cent brought in during the summer but goes no way to bridging the gap.

"We're looking at an increase of somewhere between six and eight per cent - our pay package has been rather neglected by the Government."

NEW College principal Neil Bromley said: "We sympathise with the union's cause as they are asking for equality of pay between lecturers and school teachers but at the moment, colleges are given 10 per cent less than schools for each pupil studying A-levels or equivalents.

"The Government have said they will close this funding gap but they haven't said when."

Mr Bromley said college business would run as normal, including tomorrow's open day.