Members of the Forth Valley College EIS-FELA branch have been taking industrial action since 10 November 2020 to show their opposition to the College downgrading 30 lecturing posts to Instructor Assessor posts.
The EIS was hopeful that they could share meaningful discussions with the College to resolve the dispute but agreement has not yet been found.
EIS-FELA Members are now being balloted for strike action. The statutory ballot opened on Friday 5th February and closes on Thursday 25th February.
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.
The members involved are spread across sites in Falkirk, Alloa, and Stirling. If members vote for strike action, this will be escalatory in nature beginning with one day and increasing to three days until the summer holidays.
Forth Valley College branch rep Anne Marie Harley said, "Members are telling us how humiliated they feel. They've been lecturers for years – now they're being told they aren't worth the pay and terms and conditions we fought for."
"It's a disgrace. We know members are feeling stressed and anxious, some are even absent, because they have been treated so dismissively by our employer."
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Forth Valley College is looking to cut costs and have decided to target lecturers. Members across Scotland are concerned that the professional role and status of college lecturers is under threat."
"I am deeply concerned about the direction of travel in the College and the impact this has on our members and, in turn, on students."
Mr Flanagan added, "It is not too late for the college to change this, but they need to act now by reinstating lecturers' posts and ensuring no more posts are downgraded in the future."