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Tuesday 18 June 2024
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Education / Union launches campaign to safeguard lecturers’ jobs at UHI Shetland

AROUND 75 people have so far signed a petition that seeks increased investment in further and higher education in the isles in a bid prevent job losses at UHI Shetland.

The EIS-FELA union, representing lecturers at the institution, said that the jobs of 18, almost one third of all lecturers at UHI Shetland, are under threat.

The union said that the loss of staff and educational provision on that scale would have a “hugely detrimental impact on the community of Shetland”.

EIS-FELA is seeking urgent talks with the Scottish Funding Council and government minister for further and higher education, Graeme Day, to press for additional funding through the UHI network.

UHI Shetland, founded just two years ago through the merger of Shetland College, NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland, faces a £1.2 million funding deficit, and is proposing restructuring the institution which will lead to a “substantial” loss of jobs.

A union representative at UHI Shetland said: “We’re now two years on from the merger and have been informed that staffing costs need to be further reduced with lecturers now at risk of redundancy.”

All sections at UHI Shetland are likely to face some reduction in the number of lecturers employed, however the department most at risk is community learning & business (CL&B).

“Depopulation in Shetland is a real concern and the loss of staff at a major employer on the island coupled with a loss of accessible, inclusive and diverse education will only make this problem worse,” the union said.

“A wide range of courses should be available at UHI Shetland and secure and long-lasting employment which benefits the local community.

“We should be investing in our communities, supporting the growth of skills, confidence, and the employment futures of everyone in Shetland.”

Management at UHI Shetland is pursuing a similar route to increase funding for the college.

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