College lecturers vote to strike

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College studentsImage source, SPL

College lecturers across Scotland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.

The EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association said there were widespread disparities between wages at different colleges.

The walkout could lead to disruption for some students in the run up to exams.

The organisation representing colleges has described the dispute as "unnecessary".

Lecturers voted by 96.4% to 3.6% in favour of strike action which could take place after colleges return from the Easter break.

'Simply staggering'

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 said lecturers did not want to strike but they had been "infuriated" by the actions of college management.

'Hugely disappointing'

A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers' Association said: "It is hugely disappointing that the EIS are planning to take strike action that will badly affect college students in the run up to their exams.

"Time and again we have tried to engage with the EIS on pay and conditions of service, but they remain unwilling to discuss change to professionalise the sector and deliver better value to students and the public purse.

"Our door remains open and we are happy to continue discussions with the EIS, but they have to accept that we both signed up to a total package in March 2016, including changes to terms and conditions, not a pay-only deal."

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