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Education / Winter graduation for college students as industrial action delays ceremony

The college and NAFC graduation in 2019. Photo: Ben Mullay

THE ONGOING national industrial dispute between lecturers and colleges has resulted in UHI Shetland postponing its graduation event from August to December.

The industrial action includes a boycott on resulting by teaching staff, which means UHI Shetland may not receive some of the students’ results in time for the college to hold its planned graduation in August.

The new date is scheduled for Friday 8 December at Mareel.

The industrial dispute, which is down to pay, involves lecturing union EIS-FELA and includes all of Scotland’s 26 further education colleges.

It is currently undertaking action short of a strike.

A spokesperson for UHI Shetland said: “We are disappointed the ongoing industrial action and boycott of students’ results by EIS-FELA has resulted in a postponement of the UHI Shetland graduation.

“We have strived to minimise the effects of the resulting boycott on our students, but the continuation of this action has meant that we are now unable to have complete results lists in time for our original graduation plans in August 2023.

“We hope that our students will join us for our new date on Friday 8 December 2023 at Mareel to celebrate their achievements.”

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said when industrial action began in May: “College lecturers should have received a pay award in September 2022, and the protracted and frustrating nature of pay negotiations has now resulted in the EIS-FELA engaging in action short of strike.

“College employers have still failed to produce a pay offer that is acceptable amidst a cost-of-living crisis and the Scottish Government has failed to pay any attention to this dispute.”

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