Created on: 20 Sep 2018
EIS-FELA has been in dispute since December 2017 over a failure to agree a cost of living pay rise. EIS-FELA lodged the original pay claim for 2017/18 in December 2016 and despite a lengthy delay in receiving a response from Management, continued to demonstrate a willingness to negotiate throughout the dispute resolution process.
The negotiators had hoped that Management would engage in serious negotiation at the April NJNC meeting but instead, it issued a 'full and final' offer which fell far short of our claim.
The pay offer consists of a 2.5% consolidated pay increase over three years (to be paid from April 2019) with only unconsolidated payments in 2017 and 2018, for some (but not all) members.
Crucially, the offer of £600 for 2017 and £1, 000 for 2018 is linked to the harmonisation uplift - whatever you received as part of the harmonisation uplift will be deducted from these figures.
If you received more than £600 in 2017 and £1, 000 in 2018 through the harmonisation process, you will receive nothing further by way of cost of living pay rise for these years.
Because Management has linked the 2017 and 2018 payments to harmonisation, the impact of the offer will differ from college to college and even within colleges, from pay point to pay point. Full details of what the offer means for you have been sent to your Branch Secretary and we would advise you to contact them for further information about the impact of the offer in your college.
This dispute is about a cost of living pay increase and ensuring that lecturers' pay keeps up with inflation. Delivering equal pay in FE does not reflect the rising cost of living. The campaign for equal pay was never intended to result in a pay freeze.
The current offer of a 2.5% increase over three years will result in a real terms pay cut and imposes a pay cap on Scottish FE lecturers at a time when the Scottish Government is lifting the cap for the rest of the public sector.
It is not an easy decision to ask members to take industrial action and over recent months, your negotiators have sought to avoid the situation in which we now find ourselves.
Movement from your negotiators included consideration of a multi-year deal with elements of unconsolidated payments. Despite this, the Management have refused to move.
At a time when the sector would benefit from stability, it is regrettable that Management are conflating the provision of equal pay across the sector with a cost of living pay increase and have introduced this as a barrier to further negotiation.
A consultative ballot is now open and will close at midday on Wednesday, 26th September 2018.
Members are posed one question -
'Do you accept or reject the Employers' pay offer?'
The EIS-FELA Executive is recommending that members vote to 'reject' the offer.
Members should be aware that if they reject the pay offer, then the EIS-FELA is subsequently likely to consider a further ballot for a sustained industrial action campaign involving strike action.
To ensure the EIS-FELA Executive has a clear understanding of the views of all members, it is essential that members use their vote.
The Trade Union Act requires, for statutory ballots, 50% of those entitled to vote to turn out and a majority to vote in favour of industrial action, before any action can be taken. Although this is a consultative ballot, only, the 50% threshold is of crucial importance in demonstrating that our members are engaged and care about their pay and terms and conditions.
Please use your vote!