EIS-FELA members at West Lothian College have voted in favour of action short of strike over attempts to introduce instructor / assessors instead of college lecturers.
The ballot, which closed today, resulted in 87% of participating members voting for action short of strike, with a turnout of 67%.
The EIS believes that the changes will worsen staffs’ conditions and undermine the professionalism of lecturers. The new roles are lower paid, with more class contact hours, less time for preparation, and reduced annual leave.
The union has also warned that the move will impact the quality of education on offer to students as the new roles don’t require a teaching qualification or General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) recognition.
A West Lothian Branch Rep said, “We are furious that the college is trying to push forward with changes without proper process and against the better judgement of staff during a global pandemic. Following months of discussions and various routes for resolution, it seems our views are irrelevant. Whilst the EIS were happy to negotiate, the college has introduced the role of instructor come what may.
“The ballot result shows that we are more than prepared to take action to defend our livelihoods and our students’ right to quality education.”
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “It’s clear that these changes are about cutting costs – no matter the impact on the quality of education. This is an attack on the professional role of lecturers in further education.
“The ballot result is a clear mandate for industrial action. It’s not too late for the college to avoid action, but they need to act now and reinstate lecturers’ posts.”