College lecturers set for day of action

Image caption, The EIS says the protest will help lecturers highlight the "damaging effects" of budget cuts

Scotland's largest teaching union has called on college lecturers to stage a day of action against cuts to further education funding.

The EIS said the protest was a response to reductions in teaching grants and capital spending planned for 2011/12.

It said Tuesday's protest would give lecturers an opportunity to highlight the "damaging effects" of the cuts.

Lecturers will be encouraged to hand out leaflets and sign an e-petition against the cuts.

The EIS said further education cuts announced for the next financial year amounted to a 10.4% cut to teaching grants across Scotland's colleges and a 52% reduction in capital spending.

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said: "The day of action is an opportunity for FE lecturers to highlight the damaging effects of these cuts, which will diminish the provision of an effective further education service to tens of thousands of Scottish students."

Mr Smith also claimed cuts that had already been announced equated to about 1,000 lecturers across Scotland.

He said: "The EIS opposes compulsory redundancies and the flawed argument that Scotland needs fewer FE lecturers.

"FE lecturers are well-qualified and experienced staff who are the backbone of the Scottish college sector - they should be supported rather than discarded at a time when they are needed most."

'Crude systems'

Meanwhile, lecturers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh are taking industrial action on Monday over the introduction of a new staff performance development review.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are to boycott staff performance appraisals, claiming the reviews were introduced without proper negotiation.

In the recent ballot of UCU members, 83.6% of those who voted opted for industrial action.

UCU Scottish official Mary Senior said: "We are seeing crude performance management systems being introduced in a number of institutions in Scotland.

"Whilst the union is not opposed to professional development, it is crucial that such systems are negotiated with unions, and value the diverse nature of academic teaching and research."

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