EIS gives notice of statutory industrial action ballot in colleges over pay

Created on: 13 Mar 2023 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023

Today (Monday 13th March 2023), the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) has issued seven days’ notice letters informing college employers that a statutory ballot for industrial action will commence on Monday 20th March.

The EIS-FELA has been in formal dispute with college employers, at the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC), since January, with negotiations having failed to move forward from a 2% salary uplift offer that was rejected by EIS-FELA negotiators prior to Christmas 2022.

EIS-FELA members, across Scotland’s Further Education colleges, will be asked to indicate support for both action short of strike (ASOS) and strike action in this statutory ballot. If no equitable and fair pay offer is made by college employers, then it is envisaged that action short of strike will commence prior to the summer with a boycott of student results and a withdrawal of goodwill. If this fails to produce an acceptable pay offer from college employers, then strike action will be deployed as a last resort in August/September this year.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, “In the face of the lack of parity and equity with teachers and the wider public sector when it comes to the pay of college lecturers, the EIS-FELA has been left with no option but to commence a statutory ballot for industrial action. College employers have failed to make any improvement, or indicate any willingness to improve, on a derisory 2% pay offer for Scotland’s college lecturers. In a cost-of-living crisis, such a position is simply unacceptable and college employers must seek to address this as a matter of urgency.”

EIS-FELA President, Charlie Montgomery, said, “Scotland’s colleges have experienced nearly a decade of regular industrial action and it is wholly regrettable that the further education sector once again faces the very real prospect of significant disruption prior to and following the summer break. We urge college employers to return to the negotiating table and make an offer that is both equitable and fair. The time is now for those who run colleges in Scotland to show leadership and defend their workers’ pay.”