College Employers Scotland hits out at EIS as increased pay offer is rejected and strikes loom

The Director of College Employers Scotland has hit out at the EIS-FELA for initiating strike action by lecturers from tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 April 2022) after rejecting a pay offer which would have kept them the best paid in the UK.

Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland said:

“It is disappointing that the EIS-FELA has decided to strike despite being made an increased offer at negotiations two weeks ago.

“The original offer to lecturers included a £150 one-off payment, recognising their contributions during the pandemic and, along with the £850 consolidated payment in recognition of the work done throughout the pandemic, was a higher pay offer than that already made to and accepted by teachers, civil servants, police, fire service.

“This pay offer would ensure Scotland’s lecturers remain by far the best paid in the United Kingdom and continue enjoy the best terms and conditions in the four nations.

“In a final attempt to avert industrial action, College Employers Scotland offered an additional £50 to the one-off payment to stop strike action going ahead, which was rejected.

“Our offer is in fact beyond what colleges can afford, we have pushed our resources to the maximum because we value the work that lecturers do and wish to avoid further disruption to our students.

“Colleges are already in deficit by £5.7m and the sector is facing a real--terms cut in funding of £51.9m this autumn. Strike action will not result in an increased offer – there simply isn’t any more funding that colleges can put forward.

“I want to reassure students facing exams and assessments in the coming weeks that colleges are taking steps to ensure disruption is minimal and that every measure will be taken to support them during this incredibly important time in their lives.

“Our door remains open if the EIS-FELA negotiators wish to meet to discuss any practical, deliverable and affordable plans to end this disruptive and unnecessary dispute.”

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