Strong Support for Strike Action in Colleges Across Scotland Today

Created on: 29 Feb 2024

There has been strong support from lecturers, students and supporters of Further Education as the EIS-FELA staged a day of national strike action over pay.

Picket lines were in place at colleges across Scotland this morning, while a rally outside the Scottish Parliament also attracted strong support.

EIS-FELA members have been engaged in a programme of action short of strike, including a work to rule and a resulting boycott, in recent weeks and today’s national day of strike action marks an intensification of the dispute in the continuing campaign for a fair pay settlement.

Scotland’s Further Education lecturers should have received a pay-rise in August 2022, but are still waiting for an acceptable offer from college employers a year and a half later. The only offers to have come from employers are below inflation, and below public sector pay policy despite colleges being part of the public sector.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, “Scotland’s college lecturers remain united and resolute in their campaign to secure a fair pay settlement from college employers. Scotland’s college lecturers last received a pay rise two-and-a-half years ago in August 2021.

"During this period, the country has endured a crippling cost-of-living crisis, with soaring prices for essentials such as food and clothing, heating and housing. Yet, the only offers to have come from college employers are sub-inflation and represent a real-terms pay cut for Scotland’s hard-working college lecturers."

Ms Bradley continued, "Rather than seeking to resolve the dispute, college Principals have instead made the situation worse by threatening to withhold pay from lecturers engaged in a work-to-rule and resulting boycott as part of a legitimate programme of industrial action. This reprehensible threat runs counter to the Scottish Government’s stated opposition to Westminster anti-trade union laws and violates every policy of sound industrial relations and Fair Work principles."

Ms Bradley added, "The EIS-FELA programme of industrial action, including a rolling schedule of further days of strike action, will continue until our members receive a fair pay offer that properly reflects the invaluable work that they do.

"It is way past time for Scotland’s college principals and the Scottish Government to listen to the united voice of Scotland’s Further Education lecturers, students and the communities that colleges serve. Only an improved and fair pay offer can end this dispute."