asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is now able to make a further statement about the pay of university teachers.
I met this morning representatives of the university authorities and of the university teachers to discuss the position reached in the negotiating committee on university academic salaries. The background to the negotia- tions was explained in my reply to my hon. Friend on 5th May.I regret that the university side of the negotiating committee is not prepared to accept the Government's offer, which represents, in my view, a fair and reasonable solution. I have, therefore, agreed with the other parties that the question of the appropriate scales and percentage increases to achieve broad parity--from October 1975—with further education teachers engaged in comparable level work be referred to arbitration.The original proposal from the university authorities and teachers had been that the October 1974 scales should be increased by 18 per cent. The proposal that they will present to the arbitrators is for an increase of nearly 36 per cent.--scales ranging from £3,078 at the minimum of the lecturer scale to £7,941 at the maximum of the senior lecturer scale with an average for professors of £9,636. These lecturer scales compare with the current further education scales for lecturer II/senior lecturer and principal lecturer ranging from £2,670 to £6,429.The Government's offer before the arbitrators will be for an 18 per cent. increase payable in full in October 1975—scales ranging from £2,778 at the minimum of the lecturer scale to £6,804 at the maximum of the senior lecturer scale with a professorial average of £8,500.In addition, as I made clear to the negotiating committee, a further increase could be negotiated nearer October to reflect the increased cost of living since October 1974, subject to considerations relevant to pay policy at that time. The 18 per cent. offer, together with the cost of living increase, would subsume the threshold payments of £229 currently being paid.