Thousands of Further Education Lecturers in colleges across Scotland are on strike today (Thursday) over claims the College Management has refused to honour a deal on pay and conditions that was reached more than a year ago. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) claims support for the strike has been overwhelming, with picket lines in place at colleges across Scotland and messages of support from the Scottish Trades Union Congress, sororal and fraternal trade unions, student representatives, political parties and candidates, and the wider community.
The agreement promised equal pay for lecturers in all colleges and national terms and conditions, following years of pay inequity for lecturers doing the same jobs in different colleges.
At yesterday’s Scottish Trades Union Congress in Aviemore, delegates debated an emergency motion on the dispute and voted unanimously to send their support to lecturers.
EIS-FELA President John Kelly, a lecturer from Paisley, said: “What lecturers are on strike for is not, as management claim, more money. The pay element of this deal was agreed by both sides over a year ago, as was the timetable for its implementation. Our sole demand is that the deal struck last year should be honoured. Rather than wasting taxpayers’ money on spin against the agreement, college management should instead focus on delivering that agreement as promised.”
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Lecturers have shown great patience in waiting for Colleges to honour the deal that was agreed last year. However, after more than a year of waiting and watching college managers talk down the agreement that they freely signed up to, Scotland’s FE lecturers have simply had enough. All that lecturers are asking is for the deal that was agreed by both sides to be honoured.”
A demonstration was due to take place outside Parliament at 1pm today (Thursday).