Forth Valley College staff commence industrial action

This week, EIS members at Forth Valley College have commenced industrial action short of strike over cuts to 30 lecturers’ jobs.

The action includes ‘working to rule’, where members will do no more than the minimum required by their contract, escalating to a refusal to take an accurate student register, a marking boycott, and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

Members are taking action from 10th November until 29th January 2021, unless and until a resolution is found.

80% of participating members voted for action short of strike, with turnout of 53%, in a ballot last month. The members involved are spread across sites in Falkirk, Alloa, and Stirling.

The EIS believes that the proposed changes are a retrograde step for the profession and the students. The new roles are lower paid, 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. 

Forth Valley College branch rep Alison Addie said, “The changes have devastated staff. We’ve been lecturers for years – now we’ve been told that we’re just support staff. I’m really worried about the direction of the college and the impact on students. We want to seek a resolution with management. The college have said there’s no going back so we will take all action necessary to protect our jobs and our students’ education.”

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “It’s deeply concerning that the college is moving ahead with these changes. Forth Valley College is looking to cut costs and have decided to target lecturers.”

“Members across Scotland are concerned that the professional role and status of college lecturers is under threat. This is an alarming direction of travel for Scottish education.”

Mr Flanagan added, “It is not too late for the college to change this, but they need to act now and reinstate lecturers’ posts.”