College lecturers across Scotland will today (Wednesday) take strike action in a dispute over pay.
Members of the EIS Further Education Lecturers' Association (FELA) will be on picket lines at college campuses across the country, as they continue their campaign for a fair cost of living pay increase. Scotland's FE Lecturers have not received a cost of living pay increase since April 2016.
Lecturers voted in favour of taking strike action last month, with 90% of those voting backing the action. Over the period of the dispute, the EIS has amended its pay claim on a number of occasions in a bid to engage college management in meaningful negotiations.
Since mid-December, the EIS has been seeking further talks with Colleges Scotland in the hope of avoiding strike action by reaching a negotiated solution. However, Colleges Scotland has refused to engage in further negotiations prior to today's strike.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Lecturers have been forced into this strike action by an intransigent management group that has refused to even attempt to reach a negotiated solution ahead of today's strike. Scotland's college lecturers have not received a cost of living pay increase since 2016, and are asking for only the same type of cost of living increase that has been awarded to many other groups of public sector workers."
"Our revised claim, submitted in December, is wholly consistent with Scottish Government public sector pay policy. Yet Colleges Scotland has not yet responded to this revised claim and is continuing to use the delivery of equal pay as a barrier to negotiation, using conflated figures in publicity to obfuscate the pay claim."
"The EIS strongly urges Colleges Scotland to prioritise a return to meaningful negotiations, in the hope of agreeing a resolution to this dispute."
Picket lines will be in place at Colleges across Scotland from the early morning on Wednesday. A national demonstration will also be held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh from 12.30pm on Wednesday. Speakers will include EIS President Alison Thornton, EIS-FELA President Pam Currie, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan, and NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe.
Find out more about the FELA Strike here.