Lecturers at Birmingham University who have refused to do marking and exam assessment as part of an industrial dispute face a ten per cent pay cut.

The university has also written to lecturers who took part in a national day of strike action last week saying they will lose a day's pay and pension contributions.

Lecturers' union the Association of University Teachers claimed the ten per cent deduction was illegal and said its members would not be bullied into submission.

Sue Blackwell, AUT's Birmingham University officer, said: "We are absolutely furious.

"A ten per cent across-the-board deduction is not legally valid. You can be sure we will be challenging it. We will not put up with bullying tactics by our managers."

University campuses in the West Midlands and across the country suffered disruption last Tuesday as lecturers refused to work.

The action, part of a national campaign, saw the start of a boycott on assessing coursework which threatens to prevent students' graduating.

Lecturers claim managers have failed to honour pledges to use increased funds from tuition top-up fees to address a "40 per cent real term drop" in their pay over 20 years. The Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (Ucea) has accused unions of using students as "political pawns".

The national average salary for a university lecturer is about £33,000.

The Birmingham University letter asks those taking part in industrial action to sign a statement saying they understand that:

* A day's pay (1/365th of annual salary) will be withheld from their March 2006 instalment of salary

* The university will make no contribution to pensions for any day that a member of staff (who is a member of the pension scheme) is on strike

* Ten per cent of their salary will be withheld from March 8 until the lifting of the boycott by the AUT, or earlier if they notify the university in writing that they have ceased to participate in the boycott.