The EIS has again raised serious concerns over the proposed merger of Shetland College, Train Shetland and the NAFC Marine Centre.
The EIS has particular concerns over suggestions that the proposed newly merged institution would be 'unincorporated' and therefore sit outwith the strict governance arrangements for Scotland's public sector Further Education colleges.
The EIS has previously written to John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and to the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education (SFC) to raise its concerns.Last month, the EIS also wrote to all Shetland Island councillors to advise them of the serious concerns of lecturing staff.
While still awaiting greater clarity on the proposed merger, the EIS is also now calling for an emergency meeting of the College Lecturers' Joint Consultative Committee (CLJCC) at the college. The EIS believes that appropriate consultation with lecturing staff – and others within the college community – is essential before any decisions are made on the proposed merger.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Whilst the EIS is supportive of the proposed merger, we continue to have significant concerns about suggestions that any new entity will be an unincorporated body, and therefore sit outwith the established governance arrangements for the Scottish further education sector."
"Given the importance of Shetland College to the local community, and considering the significant amount of public money involved, it is essential that appropriate scrutiny is in place."
Mr Flanagan added, "The EIS has written to all parties concerned to raise our concerns related to this merger, and we continue to seek resolution to those concerns."
We feel it is essential that there is appropriate consultation with staff, students and the wider community on the future of further education at Shetland College. To support this aim, the EIS is now calling for a special emergency meeting of the College Lecturers' Joint Consultative Committee to allow for open and frank discussion of the issues related to the proposed merger."