Members of EIS-FELA have voted overwhelmingly to reject the terms of a cost of living pay offer.
The pay offer, equivalent to a 2.5% consolidated uplift for lecturers over a three year period, would result in a real terms pay cut for Scottish FE lecturers and effectively would impose a pay cap on lecturers at a time when the Scottish Government is lifting the cap for the rest of the public sector.
The EIS-FELA Executive had agreed in August to a consultative ballot its members, with a recommendation that they should reject the offer. The ballot, which closed today (26th September), saw a 60% turn-out with 90% of members who voted, supporting the recommendation of the Executive
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "This vote is an overwhelming rejection of the pay offer and signifies the strength of feeling of our members. This dispute is about a cost of living pay rise and ensuring that lecturers' pay keeps up with inflation."
"At a time when the sector would benefit from stability, it is regrettable that Management are conflating the provision of equal pay across the sector with a cost of living pay increase, creating a barrier to further negotiation."
"We hope that this clear rejection by lecturers will cause Management to think again and return with an improved offer, avoiding the risk of industrial action in our colleges."
EIS-FELA President, Pam Currie added, "The Scottish Government recently acknowledged that 'the quality of learning at colleges has never been higher' and that this has a direct impact on better outcomes for students and the Scottish economy as a whole."
"Lecturers play a pivotal role in delivering improved life chances, generating a more skilled workforce and addressing inequality in society. They deserve a cost of living pay settlement which reflects both the rising cost of living and the work undertaken by them in an everchanging sector."