EIS Members at Forth Valley College to take Industrial Action

EIS members at Forth Valley College will take action short of strike over attempts to remove 30 lecturers’ jobs and replace them with support staff.

The action will include 'working to rule', where members will do no more than the minimum required by their contract, escalating to a refusal to take an accurate student register, a marking boycott, and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

Members will be taking action from 10th November until 29th January 2021, unless a resolution is found.

80% of participating members voted for action short of strike, with turnout of 53%, in a ballot that closed last week. The members involved are spread across sites in Falkirk, Alloa, and Stirling.

The EIS believes that the proposed changes are a retrograde step for the profession and the students. The new roles are lower paid, with more class contact hours, less time for preparation, and reduced annual leave.

The union also warns that the move will impact the quality of education on offer to students. The new roles don’t require a teaching qualification or General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) recognition. 

Forth Valley College Branch Convenor Anne-Marie Harley said, "We are furious that the college is trying to attack our contracts and profession during a global pandemic."

"We hope that management with reconsider their position and we will continue to seek a resolution, but this result shows that staff are more than prepared to take action to defend our livelihoods and our students’ right to quality education."

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "It is clear that these changes are about cutting costs – no matter the impact on the quality of education. Members across Scotland are concerned that the professional role and status of college lecturers is under threat."

Mr Flanagan added, “Whilst the ballot result is a clear mandate for industrial action, it is not too late for the college to avoid this, but they need to act now and reinstate lecturers’ posts."