College Lecturers Vote for Industrial Action in Pursuit of Fair pay Offer

Created on: 01 Apr 2022 | Last modified: 01 Apr 2022

Following protracted negotiations, that began with the submission of a pay claim in June 2021, EIS-FELA members have voted strongly for both strike action and action short of strike, in pursuit of a pay award that recognises their efforts during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Meeting the restrictive statutory ballot threshold set by the UK Government, over 70% of EIS-FELA members voting indicated their willingness to take strike action and over 80% indicated that they are ready to use action short of strike, including a resulting boycott in terms of qualifications, if no further improvement can be made by the Employers’ Side of the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC). 

Following the conclusion of the statutory ballot, EIS-FELA has requested further negotiations, in an effort to avoid further disruptive industrial action, across all colleges in Scotland, due to begin in only a few weeks.

Despite many colleges being closed over the next two weeks for the Easter holidays, EIS-FELA negotiators have made it clear that they are ready and willing to meet with Employers’ side at any time, and wish to do so sooner, rather than later.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary, Larry Flanagan, said "Over the course of the COVID 19 pandemic thus far, college lecturers have stood up and delivered for students. They have gone above and beyond in ensuring that those who attend college, to gain the skills and qualifications they need, have continued to receive high standards of teaching and learning.

"They have done this despite an EIS survey showing EIS-FELA members experiencing rising levels of stress and workload, while many college lecturers have received no wellbeing check in from their employers.

Mr Flanagan added, "Words of gratitude, and a pay offer that does not begin to address the pressures on the cost of living, are not enough. Since the advent of national bargaining, there has been only one occasion in which college employers have made an acceptable pay award, without EIS-FELA members taking industrial action.

"The EIS urges the Employers' side of the NJNC to buck this trend and accept EIS-FELA's offer of further negotiations and to return to the table with a pay offer that avoids unnecessary and wholly avoidable industrial action in the FE sector."