Redundancy Process to Continue During Pandemic

Created on: 27 Mar 2020

The EIS-FELA Branch at Forth Valley College is outraged that the redundancy process, launched on February 12th by the College, is set to continue during the coronavirus epidemic.

This shameless march onward by management is happening despite appeals made by the EIS-FELA Branch that the College stay the process during the pandemic.

These so-called 'modernising' proposals would result in the potential redundancy of over 31 lecturing jobs. The college is set to introduce instructor-assessor roles to replace some lecturers giving them diminished rights and inferior terms and conditions.

The College's proposals target lecturers who currently provide a valuable service in the delivery of vocational education, such as hairdressing, care, construction and practical engineering.

EIS-FELA Forth Valley believes that the measures to divide staff into different categories of workers are designed to save money, break staff solidarity, erode terms and conditions, and weaken the lecturing profession.

The Branch is also concerned that undermining vocational learning will have a chilling effect on local business investment and trust in the college. Many local businesses, including the oil and gas industry, rely on quality vocational learners to join their work force.

EIS-FELA Acting President Charlie Montgomery said:

"In a time of unprecedented national crisis and emergency, we find it unconscionable that Forth Valley College are pressing ahead with a redundancy process."

"They have loyal and professional lecturing staff under threat who have underlying health conditions and stress. These staff not only have to face the strain of coronavirus but now they must fight for their jobs too. It's a national disgrace."

EIS-FELA Former President Pam Currie said:

"Management proposals are regressive; they take us back to an era where academic learners are offered lecturers and vocational learners have 'instructor assessors'. Our staff, students and local community deserve better.

She continued: "But more importantly than that we are shocked and saddened by the callousness of pursuing redundancies during a global pandemic."

"Forth Valley College is not Sports Direct. It's a proud public educational institution, with a duty of care to its staff during this crisis. We are shocked and saddened that the College should treat its staff with such utter disregard."

The EIS, which represents teachers in Clackmannanshire said:

"We value the successful partnership we have with Forth Valley College. FVC is a positive destination for many of our school leavers."

"However, we are very concerned that the partnership we have built up will be devalued by these restructuring efforts. We are in solidarity with affected staff, students and our EIS-FELA colleagues."

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

"This is a distressing time for all staff affected by these proposals.  Staff want to know that their jobs are secure and that they can continue to deliver a high-quality education to their students – whether vocational or academic."

"The EIS will work to ensure that members' rights are protected and that the high-quality learning experience for all students maintained.  It will continue to engage in negotiations with Forth Valley College and would urge it to re-consider these damaging proposals."

The Forth Valley College EIS-FELA Branch has launched an indicative ballot for strike action and is building a local campaign to protect member's jobs and vocational education in the central belt.

Questions and statements of support to EIS-FELA Branch Representative, Forth Valley College, Alison Addy: