Friday 5 February 2016

The EIS has condemned the announcement by Colleges Scotland of its intention to pursue an imposed pay award on college lecturers.

The planned imposition is the latest example of bad faith from a management side that has dragged pay negotiations on for over a year, while failing to enter into meaningful discussions on pay equality across the sector.

The EIS has called on Scottish Government, which made national FE pay bargaining a key manifesto commitment, to take action to bring college management into line with stated Scottish Government policy.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The intended unilateral imposition of a pay award which has been roundly rejected by the staff to whom it would apply, exposes the deep flaws which exist in the National Bargaining process in Scottish Further Education.

"As it stands, the Scottish Government is singularly failing to deliver on its policy commitment of a return to national pay bargaining in the FE sector.

"Management have refused to consider any moves towards such a set of national pay scales and the principle of equal pay across the sector. Indeed the imposition of this change in pay will increase differentials between colleges rather than reduce them. 

"This proposed action exposes the management side's lack of any meaningful commitment to the process of national bargaining."

EIS representatives met with management only two weeks ago; at that meeting there was no suggestion or even hint of this move, which has not been discussed at any level with union representatives. 

This highlights a complete of lack of willingness from college management to engage in the bargaining process in any meaningful way. 

Mr Flanagan stated, "The EIS calls upon the Cabinet Secretary, Angela Constance, to reiterate the Scottish Government's commitment to national pay bargaining in the college sector, and to take immediate action to ensure that publicly funded College employers comply with Government policies."

He concluded, "The union is about to commence a statutory ballot for industrial action in pursuit of equal pay in the college sector, and the EIS-FELA Executive will discuss final ballot arrangements at its meeting today (Friday, 5 February, 2016).

"It is already clear that this intended imposition by colleges of a previously rejected pay offer will simply anger lecturers and ensure an even greater vote for strike action."