EIS passes unanimous vote of no confidence in Colleges Scotland

EIS members at the union’s Further Education Lecturers’ Association (FELA) annual general meeting have unanimously voted to pass a vote of no confidence in Colleges Scotland.

College lecturers are currently in the midst of a long-running dispute with Colleges Scotland in pursuit of a fair cost of living pay rise, in line with current public sector pay policy.

The union also launched a Parliamentary Briefing, which has been sent to all MSPs, setting out the facts in relation to the dispute. EIS-FELA has grown increasingly concerned at the approach adopted by Colleges Scotland to negotiations, and by increasingly belligerent statements made by Colleges Scotland in the media.

The new briefing debunks some of the myths that have emerged in relation to the dispute, and highlights the basis for the dispute in pursuit of a fair cost of living pay increase for Scotland’s FE lecturers.

The briefing states: “Colleges Scotland has presented financial information to the Scottish Parliament about the EIS-FELA pay dispute. In making its argument that the EIS-FELA pay claim is unaffordable and unreasonable, it has relied upon its own costings of the pay harmonisation process, of the EIS-FELA pay claims and of the settlement for support staff. It has sought to add credibility to its briefing by citing the validation of these costings by the SFC (Scottish Funding Council). The EIS believes that these costings are misleading and do not accurately reflect the true costs to the sector as purported.”

EIS-FELA president Pam Currie said, “Colleges Scotland are misrepresenting the figures related to this dispute, and it is now time for the Scottish Government to step in and act. We have been very clear to management that we are asking only for a fair cost of living pay increase, in line with public sector pay policy.

“We are not being unreasonable or greedy, as the management have often claimed. Essentially, this dispute is about college management attempting to wriggle out of existing agreements delivered through national bargaining. We are very clear that we are not going to sell anyone’s hard-won terms and conditions to achieve a fair cost of living pay increase.”

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