EIS claims ‘strong support’ for striking college lecturers
College lecturers conduct first in four planned strike days in what is their third industrial action in four years
Edinburgh College - Jisc
College lecturers have gathered public support behind their industrial action, teaching union the EIS has claimed.
Members of the EIS Further Education Lecturers' Association (FELA) were on strike yesterday as some have not had a pay rise in three years.
Colleges Scotland is offering a 2.5 per cent rise this year, following a move to equalise rates of pay between colleges, which saw some staff get substantial pay rises and others see their pay frozen.
The EIS claim employers refused to meet with them ahead of the strike.
Speaking at a rally in front of the Scottish Parliament yesterday, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The support at the picket lines this morning shows that EIS-FELA is stronger than ever. It is a disgrace that Colleges Scotland have not sat down to negotiate with us ahead of today’s strike action.
“This is now the third year in a row that management intransigence has forced lecturers into strike action - initially to deliver an equal pay agreement and, now, in pursuit of fair cost of living pay settlements.”
John Gribben, Director of Employment Services at Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said: “We have met the EIS-FELA on eight occasions to discuss pay and will be meeting them again on January 24 when we will urge them to suspend their disruptive strike action.
“The EIS-FELA must realise that colleges are already having to make cuts to finance the additional pay offer which they have rejected and that their unreasonable pay demands would mean fewer courses, fewer students, and fewer lecturing jobs in the college sector.
“The pay harmonisation already agreed and colleges’ additional pay offer for the 2017-20 three-year period are providing substantial increases to most lecturers.”
The result from the EIS ballot is still to come in, meaning strike action remains an option
Some institutions have already agreed to scrap graduation fees following a campaign
The day of action was organised in support of the lecturers' campaign for a fair cost of living pay increase as well as to encourage participation in a ballot for strike action
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