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Education / Local college lecturers to join national strike action over long-running pay dispute

Protests on behalf of college lecturers escalate as EIS-FELA announces new strike action dates to take place in Shetland during three days in April

LECTURERS in Shetland are set to go on strike next month as part of a wider national dispute over pay.

The rolling strike action is set to affect Shetland college lecturers on 18, 24 and 30 April.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has announced to all further education colleges in the country that a programme of rolling strike action is set to take place due to disputes for “long overdue” pay awards.

UHI Shetland lecturers went last on strike as part of the same pay dispute at the end of February. Photo: Jim Mullay

The EIS said: “College lecturers should have received a pay uplift at the beginning of September 2022 but following over a year of protracted negotiations, College Employers Scotland have stated that all they can provide is a ‘full and final’ pay offer of £5,000 over three years, this amidst the worst cost of living crisis in generations.

“For many EIS FELA members, the amount of money tabled in the second and third years of this offer sit below the levels of cost of living pay awards set by current public sector pay policy.”

The programme of rolling strike action represents a further escalation in the pay dispute, with targeted strikes already taking place in Dundee and Angus College, followed by Fife College and Glasgow Clyde College.

The targeted strike actions have been planned to address the constituencies of Scottish Government ministers who are able to help resolve the dispute, including minister for higher and further education, Graeme Dey, cabinet secretary for education, Jenny Gilruth and first minister Humza Yousaf.

The escalation will begin on Tuesday 16 April and will be followed by fourteen days of strike action in several colleges across Scotland.

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Gavin Donoghue, director of College Employers Scotland, said in response: “It is deeply regrettable that the EIS-Fela is persisting with strike action which will not result in an improved pay offer, and will only lead to more disruption for students.

“Colleges have proposed a full and final £5,000 consolidated pay rise for all staff over three academic years: £2,000 in 2022/23, £1,500 in 2023/24, and £1,500 in 2024/25.

“If accepted, this offer would keep Scotland’s college lecturers as the UK’s best paid, with a starting salary of more than £40,000 in 2024/25.

“Given that the sector’s budget is set to be cut by a further £32.7 million, employers simply cannot afford to go beyond it.”


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