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News round-up / More college strikes, HIAL consultation, parent census

Lecturers at Shetland College joined striking colleagues across Scotland on a number of occasions over recent months. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

LECTURERS at Shetland College are set to go on strike again on Wednesday and Thursday as national negotiations over pay continue to stall.

Strike action from lecturers across Scotland scheduled for last Wednesday was called off in recognition of progress that had been made.

However, strikes are back on again after a revised pay offer from Colleges Scotland Employer’s Association fell short of the claim from lecturing union EIS-FELA.

Lecturers want a fair cost of living pay increase amounting to four per cent covering a three year period.

Local EIS-FELA branch secretary Andrew Anderson said: “We are extremely concerned that it appears that the management side are deliberately putting obstacles in the way of a fair cost of living pay deal being agreed.”

The local branch has written to MSP Tavish Scott urging him to seek the intervention of government ministers to find a resolution to the dispute.

Interim director of employment services for Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, Heather Stevenson said: “Colleges are doing everything we can to end this dispute for the sake of students, who are being deliberately targeted by the EIS-FELA.

“Progress has been made in recent discussions, so it is incredibly disappointing that the EIS-FELA has rejected our calls to suspend the strikes and take our offer to their members for the first time in this dispute, as we believe they would recognise it is a good deal and accept it.”

THE OPERATOR of Sumburgh Airport is looking to hear from the public as it plans its strategy for the future.

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) is running a consultation until 7 June as it gathers the public’s thoughts on its services and how they could be evolved over the next six years and beyond.

The government-owned company, which operates and manages 11 airports, said: “In an ever-more connected world, it is vital that Scotland does all that it can to ensure its people, communities and businesses are as well-connected as possible.

“Which is why we are now engaging with our stakeholders – asking what they think about HIAL and how we should develop in the years ahead to shape our future.”

An online survey can be completed here.

PARENTS of schoolchildren in Shetland are being asked to take part in a national census this month to help to improve and increase their involvement in their child’s learning.

The census, which is open until 31 May, can be completed online at www.shetland.gov.uk/education

The Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) census will help to inform the Scottish Government’s national action plan on parental engagement and the national improvement framework for education.

The government will publish nationwide results in December.

Research shows that parents can have a positive impact on their child’s learning by improving their interaction with schools.