Created on: 11 Sep 2023
Scotland’s college lecturers have begun a twelve-day rolling programme of strike action in pursuit of a fair pay award and job security.
Members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) at New College Lanarkshire are taking strike action first, before local branches at all of Scotland’s other further education colleges follow suit over the next two and a half weeks.
EIS-FELA have previously rejected a pay offer from College Employers Scotland that has been forecasted to result in over 400 lecturing job losses across the further education sector. Last week, EIS-FELA members in all of Scotland’s colleges walked out in a national day of strike action, with hundreds gathering at a rally outside the Scottish parliament on the same day.
The EIS is calling on the Scottish Government to act to provide a fully funded and fair pay award, for college lecturers, that does not result in job losses.
Following the programme of rolling strike action, members of the EIS-FELA will undertake three days of targeted strike action in the constituencies of the First Minister, Deputy First Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Further Education.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary, Andrea Bradley said, "College lecturers deserve so much more from their employers and the Scottish Government.
"Beginning at New College Lanarkshire today, EIS-FELA members will undertake twelve days of rolling action and their frustration is not only wholly justified, but also growing.
"They have waited over one year, during a cost-of-living crisis, for a pay award and are faced with an offer, however it is spun, that their employers have stated will cost potentially over 400 lecturing jobs. Aside from the real-world impact of job losses on individuals and their families, each lecturing job lost is a cut to course provision and opportunities for students."
Ms Bradley added, "This simply should not be happening anywhere in Scotland’s public sector and the Scottish Government can no longer skulk in the background sitting on its hands.
"Their actions will speak louder than any words and only action, beginning with a fully funded and fair pay award for college lectures, will avert this crisis in Scotland’s colleges."
EIS-FELA National President, Anne Marie Harley said, "Following a strong first day of national strike action, members of the EIS-FELA are resolute in their campaign for fair pay and secure jobs.
"The Scottish Government must evidence its commitment to Further Education and no longer seek to distance itself while colleges are cut to the bone and college lecturers are already losing their livelihoods, with more likely to follow.
"While our employers seem intent on preserving the status quo and seeking to undermine legitimate industrial action, despite agreeing to jointly lobby the Scottish Government with EIS-FELA on pay, we will continue to call on the Scottish Government to demonstrate that Further Education is truly valued."
Tuesday 12th September: Glasgow Clyde College and Sabhal Mor Ostaig
Wednesday 13th September: Forth Valley College and UHI Moray.
Thursday 14th September: Glasgow Kelvin College and NESCoL.
Friday 15th September: Fife College and UHI North, West and Hebrides.