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Created: 28 April 2017 | Last Updated: 28 April 2017 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

Colleges 'Always Ready to Talk'? EIS Offered two Meetings, Management Declined

Friday 28 April 2017

The EIS has exposed that Colleges Scotland’s claim that they are ‘always willing to talk’ to attempt to resolve the college dispute is just another piece of expensive spin from an increasingly desperate organisation.

The EIS offered two meetings this week (on Thursday and Friday) to attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute, but were rebuffed by an intransigent management side.

The EIS received no response to its offer of a Thursday meeting, and – after repeated offers of a Friday meeting – the management side again declined to enter into good faith talks.

Thousands of Further Education Lecturers in colleges across Scotland went on strike over the refusal of College Management to honour a deal on pay and conditions that was reached more than a year ago.

The agreement promised equal pay for lecturers in all colleges and national terms and conditions, following years of pay inequity for lecturers doing the same jobs in different colleges.

Another strike date is scheduled for next Wednesday as the next step in a continuing, and escalating, programme of action.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Despite Colleges Scotland repeating loudly in the press that they are ‘always willing to talk’, it is clear that they currently have absolutely no interest in engaging in discussions with EIS negotiators to resolve this dispute.

"The EIS offered to meet Colleges Scotland on Thursday. They declined. The EIS offered to meet Colleges Scotland today. They declined, while also seeking to impose pre-conditions on any future talks.

"These are not the actions of an organisation that is keen to resolve a dispute.

"Colleges are claiming to that they want to minimise disruption to students. However, in setting preconditions for talks and not responding to meeting requests, management is ensuring that the dispute will continue.”

Mr Flanagan added, "We know that Colleges Scotland has engaged an expensive firm of spin-doctors who are assisting in crafting their messages talking down the deal that college management themselves signed up to.

"However, the alternative truths that they are peddling continue to be exposed for what they truly are.

"They repeatedly claimed that the agreement they had entered into was unaffordable. This was untrue, as the EIS has received confirmation that the money has already been allocated and ‘banked’ for the pay settlement.

"They claimed that the EIS was striking for ‘more money’. This was untrue, as the pay element of this deal was agreed over a year ago and should have been paid to lecturers from April this year.

"Now, their claims that they are ‘always willing to talk’ have been exposed as just another piece of costly spin from an increasingly desperate management side.

"It is time for Colleges Scotland to stop spinning, and resume talking.”