Created on: 06 Jun 2023
Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) at Dundee & Angus College are balloting for industrial action, following a proposal by the college to begin compulsory redundancies by the end of June.
The proposals come as part of a wider plan by college management to make savings, including cuts to the number of courses on offer to prospective students and staff in these areas.
EIS-FELA has warned that the move will undermine the Scottish Government's efforts to retrain young people in target industries and risks damaging the reputation of the college.
The biggest cuts are planned in key industries like engineering, building services, science, art and design, and hair and beauty. The college is also planning to remove some of the only degree-accredited college courses in dance, acting and performance in Scotland.
So far, the college's proposals have targeted areas in hospitality and building services and some workers have accepted redundancy.
In a poll of members earlier this month, 98% of members expressed serious concern about the college's plan. The branch is now proceeding to a consultative ballot for industrial action which is now open and will close on Monday 19 June.
Dundee & Angus College Branch Convenor Stephen Oakley said, "The plan will have a severe impact on the services we deliver to students and the community in the region. We are all seriously concerned about the future of Dundee & Angus college and the sector as a whole.
"We cannot believe they have put jobs at risk when hard-working staff are dealing with a cost–of-living crisis. Lots of us are worried about paying the bills and we all know the price of everything is going up - and now we have got this hanging over our heads.
"We deserve respect and job security and now we are standing up together to defend that."
EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "It's completely unacceptable that management at Dundee & Angus College are choosing to attack lecturers' jobs during a cost-of-living crisis. This isn't just unfair to the workers affected, it's also going to have a very damaging effect on the quality of education available to students in the region.
"But this isn't an isolated incident. EIS-FELA members across Scotland are seriously concerned about the future of further education, particularly as the Scottish Government has withdrawn £26 million of essential funding in recent weeks.
"The college must seriously reconsider these proposals and join us in calling on the Scottish Government to deliver an urgent rescue package for further education."