The EIS has expressed its severe disappointment following the latest negotiating meeting on College lecturers' pay.
Lecturers in EIS-FELA have so far taken two days of strike action in a dispute over pay. The EIS had submitted a newly revised pay proposal to Colleges Scotland ahead of today's meeting, in the hope of engaging in constructive dialogue towards a negotiated agreement.
However, at today's meeting, Colleges Scotland representatives read from a pre-prepared statement which indicated their refusal to negotiate any further. The meeting then broke up after a total of three minutes.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "It is, to put it mildly, disappointing that Colleges Scotland has chosen to maintain its intransigent approach by refusing to negotiate any further on lecturers' pay."
"EIS-FELA recently made a very fair revised proposal, wholly consistent with current public sector pay policy, in a genuine attempt to reach a negotiated agreement with Colleges Scotland."
"It is a real slap in the face for lecturers and, also, students that Colleges Scotland has chosen to continue its belligerent approach rather than working with EIS-FELA negotiators to bring an end to this dispute."
Mr Flanagan continued, "Lecturers are asking only for a fair cost of living increase, in line with that already awarded to support staff and to many other groups of public sector workers."
"The decision taken today by Colleges Scotland, to walk away after reading their pre-prepared statement, demonstrates their glaring lack of commitment to good-faith negotiations. This leaves EIS-FELA with no option but to continue with its escalating programme of industrial action."
Mr Flanagan added, "It is interesting, also, to note that Scotland’s colleges squirrelled away a total of £3.4M into Arm’s Length Foundations last year. Had they instead chosen to invest this money in delivering a fair cost of living increase for lecturers, we would not be in this dispute and learning and teaching would be continuing as normal in Scotland's colleges."
"Clearly, we have now reached a point where the Scottish Government should intervene to help facilitate an agreement that can end this dispute."