Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

College lecturers support national strike

Protesters outside Shetland College urged employer organisation Colleges Scotland to 'honour the ideal' - Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

ALMOST 20 lecturers from Shetland College UHI have expressed their solidarity with colleagues across Scotland who have gone on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Shetland College is not part of national bargaining for Scotland’s colleges, because the Employer’s Association voted in January of this year to refuse them entry. Therefore, Shetland College staff were not eligible to take part in the formal industrial action.

However, EIS branch secretary Andrew Anderson said if was felt important to show solidarity with colleagues at 20 of the 26 Scottish colleges.

During their lunch break on Thursday they gathered outside the college at Gremista to express their feelings.

The dispute is over the implementation of a deal that has been struck between employer’s organisation Colleges Scotland and the union in March last year.

Anderson said pay for lecturing staff in any college across Scotland was to be equalised by April 2019.

“In parallel they were to look at terms and conditions to have those also equalised over a period of time,” he said.

“The employers have tried to link the two when that was never the agreement. That’s why we are in the process we are in at the moment, trying to get the employers to honour the deal.”

A spokesman for Colleges Scotland said it was “hugely disappointing” that the EIS had decided to go ahead with the strike action.

“The strike is completely unnecessary and inappropriate at a time when we are currently engaged in ACAS talks with the EIS to try and resolve this dispute. Harmonisation of pay and conditions is a complex process that requires compromise, not strikes and disruption,” he said.