STRIKE action by college lecturers has been suspended after negotiations between management and union officials.

Staff at Edinburgh College had walked out in a dispute over terms and conditions and continued to press ahead with the action last week, despite an offer by employers to raise the previous maximum salary offer from £34,700 to around £36,000.

A statement issued by the college last night said officials from the Educational Institute of Scotland and members of the institution's board of management had finalised the terms of a harmonisation proposal for lecturing staff. EIS is expected to recommend that its members accept the offer in a ballot, which will begin next week.

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The statement added: "Both sides have now reached a fair position which they feel addresses the concerns of teaching staff at the college. The proposal harmonises key elements of contracts for all teaching staff, while remaining equitable, fair and affordable."

The college's previous offer had proposed a maximum number of teaching hours of 24 per week.

Ian McKay, chair of Edinburgh College board of management, said: "The board is pleased that we have a harmonisation proposal that will continue to provide the best possible experience for students. We are hopeful that our teaching staff will accept this offer."

Penny Gower, EIS branch secretary, added: "The proposal is consistent with the expectations of members and one officials are happy to recommend. Their determination to pursue a just, no-detriment settlement has been vindicated."