Created on: 02 Jun 2023
Negotiators from the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) met again, with College Employers Scotland, in an attempt to settle a long running pay dispute.
Despite the EIS-FELA making significant movement, by revising their previous pay claim, college employers only tabled a marginally improved offer, asserted as their full and final offer, that still amounts to substantial real terms pay cut for the lecturing workforce.
With college students due to complete their studies in the coming weeks, time is now running out to avoid large numbers of students failing to receive their results due to industrial action short of strike, in the form of a resulting boycott, being taken by the EIS-FELA membership.
The EIS-FELA has made clear previously that in the absence of an acceptable pay offer, industrial action will be escalated to national strike action early in the new academic year.
Last week, the EIS-FELA Executive publicly called on the Scottish Government to step in to address the growing crisis in Further Education with an emergency funding package.
To this end, a rally was held outside the Scottish Parliament that was attended by lecturers, students and politicians from across the political spectrum.
Commenting following today's rally and meeting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "College lecturers have been waiting since September 2022 – now nine whole months amidst a cost-of-living crisis - for a pay award. It is unacceptable that after all this time, college employers could only table a marginally improved offer that still amounts to a significant real terms pay cut.
"The Scottish Government simply cannot stand idly by allowing this situation to persist. It must respond positively to EIS-FELA’s call for emergency funding to address the deepening crisis in Further Education."
EIS-FELA President, Anne Marie Harley, said, "The EIS-FELA is fighting for the future of further education and took the case for emergency funding directly to the Scottish Parliament today. Following this, college employers decided only to table a completely unacceptable pay offer and presented no plan for addressing the growing crisis in the college sector.
"There are now only a few weeks to avoid a fiasco whereby students will not receive results, and the blame for this lies squarely with both college employers and the Scottish Government. Both must act now."