UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Monday 17 June 2024
 10.7°C   NNW Gentle Breeze
Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024

Education / UHI Shetland lecturers demand better pay

UHI Shetland lecturers forming a picket line outside Shetland College in 2023. Photo: Dave Donaldson

LECTURERS at UHI Shetland are participating in a first national day of strike action across all colleges in Scotland, part of a dispute over pay.

Unions say the current offer from employer Colleges Employers Scotland (CES) is well below what is needed to compensate for high inflation rates and the pressures of the cost of living crisis.

The dispute has been ongoing since June last year, with the current offer being 4.5 per cent for 2022-23 and 3.5 per cent for 2023-24, according to the lecturers’ union EIS-FELA.

Unions also describe it as unacceptable that any pay award made could be funded by compulsory redundancies within colleges.

“We will not trade jobs for pay and no worker should ever be pressured to accept a pay offer that will result in hundreds of job losses, least of all in the public sector,” the union said.

A second day of industrial action at UHI Shetland colleges in Lerwick and Scalloway is pencilled in for 20 September.

Meanwhile Colleges Employers Scotland said the national strike action will only cause disruption and anxiety for students.

CES director Gavin Donoghue said: “College Employers Scotland provided a full and final pay offer to the EIS-FELA and the support staff trade unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) in June for a cumulative £3,500 pay rise.

“This offer would provide an average pay rise of 8 per cent for lecturers and 11 per cent, on average, for support staff.

“For support staff earning less than £25,000, the average increase would be over 14 per cent. For lecturers at the start of the pay scale, the increase would be around 10 per cent to a starting salary of almost £39,000 a year.”

Meanwhile a report by Audit Scotland, out today, is highlighting the challenges the college sector faces, including high staffing coast and the need for continued investments to meet the demands of the future

Donoghue said: “Given the huge financial pressures already facing colleges, we hope the EIS-FELA, Unison and Unite call off their plans for rolling strike action and recommend the employers’ pay offer to their members.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.