Members of the West Lothian College EIS-FELA branch are being balloted for Action Short of Strike Action over the introduction of instructor posts within the college.
The statutory ballot opened on Friday 5th March and closes on Thursday 25th March.
The EIS believes that the development and introduction of instructor posts are a retrograde step for the profession and the students. The new roles are lower paid then lecturing posts, 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 membership has previously held 2 consultative ballots for industrial action over the introduction and increased advertising of instructor posts. The most recent of these ballots was held in December 2020 and had a 67% turnout with 87% voting yes to industrial action.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The principle of quality education delivered by qualified lecturers is at stake at West Lothian. West Lothian College has introduced the role of instructors and continued to roll out an increased number of posts despite the concerns of lecturers and their contention that good industrial relations have been circumvented.
“FELA members across Scotland are concerned that the professional role and status of college lecturers is under threat, and it is clear that West Lothian College is one of the colleges at the forefront of this.”
Mr Flanagan added, “The EIS FELA would prefer not to be taking industrial action and is calling for the college to reverse its position and commit to the centrality of lecturers to deliver high quality college education to students.”