College lecturers across Scotland have taken strike action in a dispute over pay.
Members of the EIS-FELA showed strong support for the day of strike action right across Scotland. Picket lines were operational at college campuses across the country, as lecturers continued 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 refused to engage in further negotiations prior to today's strike.
Speaking at a rally in support of the pay campaign at the Scottish Parliament today, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The support at the picket lines this morning shows that EIS-FELA is stronger than ever."
"It is a disgrace that Colleges Scotland have not sat down to negotiate with us ahead of today's strike action. This is now the third year in a row that management intransigence has forced lecturers into strike action - initially to deliver an equal pay agreement and, now, in pursuit of fair cost of living pay settlements."
EIS-FELA President Pam Currie added, "Lecturers have had no cost of living pay rise since April 2016, and management's final offer, amounting to a consolidated rise of less than 1% per year, was overwhelmingly rejected in October 2018."
"At our last negotiation meeting in December, we, submitted a revised pay claim based on current public sector pay policy. Despite their assurances that we would meet 'early in January', the management side has refused to meet until after the first day of strike action – a cynical move which some might say shows utter disregard for FE students and contempt for their own teaching staff."
"For our part, EIS-FELA has made it clear at every meeting that we continue to seek agreement on a negotiated settlement."