Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Telford College lecturers plan 51-day strike

Telford College
Image caption Telford College was established 43 years ago in 1968

More than 50 days of strike action have been set over the summer following a programme of industrial action at an Edinburgh college.

Lecturers at Edinburgh's Telford College begin their first strike day on Wednesday over plans to cut 50 full-time jobs.

The college is also understood to have proposed to end 68 temporary contracts.

Miles Dibsdall, college principal, said he was "deeply disappointed" by the union's stance.

Telford College has 219 EIS members, who were balloted over potential industrial action.

Of those, 117 (about 53%) returned their ballots with 89% voting in favour of taking action.

Ronnie Smith, EIS general secretary, said: "Lecturing staff at Edinburgh's Telford College are taking this strike action as a last resort in their struggle to save jobs and protect the services that can be offered to the community and the quality of education for students.

"Lecturers are not taking this action lightly, and are doing so with a heavy heart as their top priority is always the quality of education that they offer to all students.

"However, the scale of the college management's planned job cuts is so severe that lecturers feel they have no option but to stand up for their jobs and for the educational needs of their students.

"Even at this late stage, the EIS remains open to further discussion with college management as to how compulsory redundancies can be avoided."

Compulsory redundancies

Mr Dibsdall, Telford College principal, said: "Unfortunately, there are a number of EIS-FELA members participating in strike action today.

"While I remain sympathetic with the staff taking part, I am deeply disappointed at the stance taken by the union.

"I have always been upfront about how the government's cuts would impact on the college, which meant staff were informed that we could offer no guarantees over the avoidance of compulsory redundancies at anytime.

"Regrettably, the consultation period has ended and a number of staff are at risk of losing their jobs.

"I can see no value in EIS-FELA members now implementing industrial action."

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