Created on: 20 Mar 2023 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023
A statutory ballot for industrial action opened across Scotland's 26 Further Education colleges, as college lecturers seek to secure a fair pay award.
Members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) are being balloted following a lack of progress in negotiations at the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC), where college employers have failed to improve on an offer of a 2% salary uplift that was rejected by negotiators before Christmas.
The statutory ballot runs from 20th March until 13th April. Members of the EIS-FELA are being asked to indicate a willingness to engage in both strike action and Action Short of Strike (ASOS), which will take the form of a boycott of entering student results and withdrawal of goodwill.
Ahead of the ballot opening, EIS General Secretary, Andrea Bradley, commented, "College lecturers have been forced to take strike action eight times in the last nine years and it is extremely disappointing that they are faced with no other option but to consider striking once again.
"College employers must return to the negotiating table with an offer far above the insulting 2% offer that has already been rejected by the EIS-FELA negotiators. The Scottish Government also has a responsibility to ensure that college lecturers, who are vital public sector workers, are afforded a pay rise that addresses the ongoing cost-of-living crisis."
EIS-FELA President, Charlie Montgomery, stated, "College lecturers are incredulous that they are being treated less favourably than other workers, in both Scottish education and across the public sector. College leaders must get serious about ending the cycle of industrial action in the Further Education sector and avoid widespread disruption to college provision prior to the summer break.
"This begins by ensuring their lecturing staff receive a fair pay award. Additionally, the Scottish Government cannot avoid its responsibility to ensure that public sector college lecturers receive a fair pay rise, especially when they have directly intervened in other public sector pay disputes."