Further Education Lecturers across Scotland are on strike again today (Tuesday) and tomorrow in a continuing dispute over management’s refusal to honour a deal that was signed over one year ago.
The March 2016 NJNC Agreement promised equal pay for lecturers across Scotland, after decades of wide variations in pay for lecturers in colleges across the country.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “College lecturers are on strike again today, and will strike again tomorrow, over the continuing refusal of college management to honour the deal that the signed more than one year ago. The decision by college managers to withhold payment of the first installment of the equal pay agreement, which was due to be paid from the beginning of April, was a clear breach of the agreement that both sides agreed and freely signed up to last year.”
“The EIS deeply regrets the impact that the dispute is having on students, and we appreciate the continued strong support that lecturers have been receiving from students in colleges across the country. This is a dispute entirely of the management’s making, and it is only by management stopping their spin against the deal and engaging in meaningful discussions with the EIS that we can find a resolution to the dispute. At a time when lecturers want to be in colleges, working to support students during a particularly important time for assessments, college management are refusing to show any willingness to compromise to resolve this dispute.”
Mr Flanagan then went on to say: “The EIS welcomes the recent increasing involvement of senior representatives of the Scottish Government, including the Deputy First Minister John Swinney who met with EIS-FELA negotiators over the weekend, and the recent Parliamentary statement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon where she urged college management, in particular, to ‘go the extra mile’ to find a solution. We will continue to engage constructively with the Scottish Government, in the hope of compelling colleges to honour the deal that they signed.”
Mr Flanagan added: “EIS-FELA negotiators have met management many times in recent weeks and have made numerous proposals to seek a resolution to the dispute, including an offer to suspend strike action to facilitate intensive negotiations – an option that Colleges Scotland failed to accept. The management side continue to insist on cutting holidays, cutting preparation time for lecturers, and increasing class-contact commitments to unrealistic levels – all with the aim of cutting jobs.”