College Lecturers call on College Employers Scotland & Scot Govt to show leadership & end dispute

Created on: 12 Sep 2023

Scotland’s college lecturers have continued a twelve-day rolling programme of strike action in pursuit of a fair pay award and job security.

Members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) at Glasgow Clyde College and Sabhal Mor Ostaig are on strike today, before local branches at all of Scotland’s other further education colleges follow suit over the next two and a half weeks.

EIS-FELA have previously rejected a pay offer from College Employers Scotland that the employers themselves forecasted to result in over 400 lecturing job losses across the further education sector.

Last week, EIS-FELA members in all of Scotland’s colleges walked out in a national day of strike action, with hundreds gathering at a rally outside the Scottish parliament on the same day. The EIS is calling on the Scottish Government to act to provide a fully funded and fair pay award, for college lecturers, that does not result in job losses.

Following the programme of rolling strike action, members of the EIS-FELA will undertake three days of targeted strike action in the constituencies of the First Minister, Deputy First Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Further Education.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary, Andrea Bradley said, “Today, at Glasgow Clyde College and Sabhal Mor Ostaig, EIS-FELA members will undertake the second of twelve days of rolling action for fair pay and secure jobs. The current offer from College Employers Scotland, by their own forecasts, would cost potentially over four hundred lecturing jobs.

"Every job cut, as well as wrecking lives, is a cut to provision for students. Such an outcome would be intolerable for lecturers, students and the communities that colleges serve."

Ms Bradley added, "College Employers Scotland have agreed to work with EIS-FELA to jointly lobby the Scottish Government, however, at the same time they are rolling out their same tired union- busting statements in an attempt to undermine legitimate strike action.

"They must show true leadership, be up front with the public and echo our call publicly for the Scottish Government, who themselves must step up to the plate, to address this crisis."

EIS-FELA National President, Anne Marie Harley, said, "Despite mixed messages from College Employers Scotland, the EIS-FELA membership is singularly committed to winning a fair pay rise and job security for lecturers. Frankly, it’s time for CES to bin the spin and get serious about addressing the crisis in Scotland’s colleges.

"The Scottish Government is responsible for Scotland’s public sector colleges and they cannot ignore the damage that their intransigence is causing to the lecturing workforce, to students and to communities. They must step up and provide the funding for a fair pay award that avoids job losses, and they must do so now."