College lecturers vote to strike

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College lecturer members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – the country’s largest union for teachers and lecturers – have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a dispute over broken fair pay promises.

Members of the EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) have been voting in a statutory industrial action ballot over the last two weeks, and have now voted by 96.4 per cent (for) to 3.6 per cent (against) in favour of strike action.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “This dispute arose following the reneging by college management of a binding national agreement delivering fair pay that was reached more than a year ago. Instead of working to deliver that agreement - that was freely entered into - college managers have spent the last 12 months dragging their collective feet and attempting to undermine the pay harmonisation that they themselves agreed to in March last year. The level of duplicity that has been displayed by college management regarding this pay deal has been simply staggering.”

EIS-FELA President John Kelly added: “Rather than attempting to rewrite history and engaging in spin against a deal that they agreed to, college management need to deliver on the promises they made to lecturers last year. Their attempts to tie this pay agreement in to their desire to enforce adverse changes to lecturers’ working conditions are completely disingenuous, given that last year’s deal explicitly acknowledged that the fair pay agreement was not contingent on any changes to working conditions. Lecturers do not want to strike, but have been infuriated by the recent actions of college management and this has resulted in this overwhelming vote for strike action today.”

The result of the statutory ballot will now pass to the EIS Executive for processing, including the confirmation of a planned programme of strike dates.