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Created: 05 May 2017 | Last Updated: 05 May 2017 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

Colleges Scotland Still Struggling with Concept of "An Agreement" in Latest Spin

Friday 5 May 2017 – Updated

Commenting following yesterday’s meeting with Colleges Scotland, where the EIS made a number of new proposals in the hope of resolving the ongoing Further Education dispute, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

"It is unfortunate that, more than one year after signing the March 2016 NJNC Agreement, Colleges Scotland still seem not to have read it or - at the very least - seem to be struggling to understand what it means.

"To be clear, despite the bizarre statement issued yesterday evening by Colleges Scotland, there are no current negotiations on lecturers' pay – there is an agreement on equal pay for lecturers that colleges are refusing to implement.

"The pay element, promising equal pay across Scotland, was settled in the agreement signed by both sides in March 2016. The pay agreement, the pay increments and the due settlement dates are there in black and white in the documentation that was agreed and signed by both sides.

"If Colleges Scotland are struggling with reading comprehension, then perhaps one of the wordsmiths in their £10,000 a week firm of spin-doctors could explain the meaning of the word ‘agreement’ to them."

Mr Flanagan added, "While the EIS will not negotiate via the media, as Colleges Scotland is attempting to do, we do want to make very clear that we went into yesterday’s talks in good faith, willing to discuss compromise and ready to find a resolution to this dispute.

"Lecturers are keen to return to working normally and get back to the job that they want to do - serving students and the community in the provision of a quality educational experience. It is a great shame that Colleges Scotland is not adopting a similar approach.

"At every turn, they have attempted to frustrate the implementation of this agreement by ramping up the inflammatory rhetoric. Colleges Scotland is clearly not an organisation that is interested in resolving this dispute.

"It defies belief that Colleges Scotland is claiming that they are not withholding payment of the mutually agreed equal pay settlement, when this is precisely what they are doing. Nowhere in the agreement does it say that the equal pay agreement is conditional on any changes to preparation and correction time, class contact or annual leave entitlement.

"There is a shared obligation in the agreement to discuss terms and conditions, with a view to agreeing a national standard, but there is absolutely no mention of the equal pay agreement being conditional on any other changes.

"Colleges Scotland need to stop spouting this misinformation - which is simply not believable to lecturers, students or the wider public - and instead engage in the type of constructive discussions that the EIS is committed to with a view to resolving this dispute".