College students across the Midlands face further disruption next month after lecturers voted to strike in protest against an "insulting" pay rise.

Union leaders fighting for a seven per cent pay rise described the tabled 1.5 per cent offer as a "slap in the face".

As a result, lecturers will stage a two-day strike during the first week of May.

College lecturers union NATFHE said they were already behind compared with school teachers who last year were awarded a 3.2 per cent rise compared with lecturers' 2.8 per cent.

The seven per cent claim for 2006/07 aimed to take the shortfall into account.

NATFHE claimed that with teachers having secured a 2.5 per cent pay rise for this September, the offer to lecturers in fact represented a 1.4 per cent cut.

Barry Lovejoy, NATFHE's head of colleges, said: "Our reasonable offer to resolve this dispute has been scorned.

"We have no option but to send out a robust response that college staff will not be ignored."