College lecturers on strike again in pay dispute

College lecturers across Scotland have gone on strike again in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) are demanding what they say is a fair cost of living increase, in line with public sector pay policy.

EIS-FELA said it has rejected a 2% increase offer over three years, and accused employers’ association Colleges Scotland of seeking to tear-up existing commitments on lecturers’ working conditions.

On Wednesday members walked out over the issue which, according to EIS-FELA president Pam Currie, left management labelling lecturers as “greedy”.

She said: “Scotland’s college lecturers have, once again, shown their determination to make a stand in pursuit of a fair pay settlement.

“Our pay claim is entirely reasonable and wholly in line with public sector pay policy.

“Lecturers are asking only for a fair pay settlement that reflects the rising cost of living.

“Yet the response of management has been to label us ‘greedy’ and ‘unrealistic’, as they have repeatedly rejected all our attempts to reach a fair negotiated agreement.”

It is the third time EIS-FELA members have gone on strike this year after 24-hour walkouts in January and February.

They have also warned of possible further action, including a boycott of college results systems.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “It is disappointing that Colleges Scotland failed to accept the EIS offer to suspend strike action earlier this week.

“EIS-FELA put a straightforward proposition to them which didn’t include additional money but which would have allowed negotiations to continue.

“Colleges Scotland rejected this and this has led to today’s action going ahead, with a new ballot now also under way which may lead to an escalation in this dispute.”

On Tuesday, Colleges Scotland said lecturers north of the border were “by far the best paid across the UK” and it was disappointed EIS-FELA had turned down six improved pay offers.

John Gribben, director of employment, previously said: “The EIS-FELA is balloting their members to escalate short of strike action and has vowed to withhold assessment results from colleges, which would prevent students from graduating and progressing to other college or university courses.

“This is a gamble by the EIS-FELA, designed to get the Scottish Government to intervene as they calculate that will get them more money, but they are recklessly gambling with students’ futures.”

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