LECTURERS at cash- strapped Dewsbury College have finally reached agreement on a pay deal after four strikes.
The Dewsbury branch of the university and college lecturers union NATFHE was locked in a dispute with college management over the introduction of a new pay scale which would bring them nearer to equal pay with school teachers.
The pay scale was part of a two-year national pay deal struck between NATFHE and the Association of Colleges.
It has been implemented by 41% of colleges and means a maximum salary for qualified lecturers of £30,705 and a starting salary increased to £20,283 for qualified teaching staff.
Lecturers walked out four times in a bid to get the new pay scale implemented.
The college has repeatedly pointed out its financial difficulties.
It had £800,000 slashed from its budget for this year.
The West Yorkshire Learning and Skills Council, which allocates funds to colleges had a £11m budget cut in 2005/6.
But now agreement has been reached on both sides.
Martyn Moss, NATFHE regional official in Yorkshire and Humberside said: "It has taken a lot of tenacious negotiating and campaigning to get to this point, not to mention strike action."
Barbara Hall, NATFHE branch secretary at Dewsbury College said: "The support that union members gave to each other enabled us to get the new pay structure with no strings attached.
"Our management was hoping to do a deal whereby we only got the extra money if we accepted worse terms of employment.
"By presenting a strong unified front, we made sure that didn't happen."