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Comment on the EIS-FELA Statutory Ballot

Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland, said: “It is disappointing that the EIS-FELA has decided to open a statutory ballot for industrial action when there is a meeting scheduled to take place at the end of the month.

“Colleges in Scotland are proud of the fact that their lecturers have the best pay and terms and conditions of any lecturers across the UK. However, the current EIS-FELA pay claim of a £5,000 increase for all lecturers is unaffordable for the college sector as it would increase a lecturer’s starting salary by over 14% to more than £40,000 a year, at a time when colleges are facing severe cost pressures.

“Once National Insurance and pension contributions are taken into account, the current EIS-FELA pay claim would cost colleges an additional £37m a year. But right now, colleges are already having to reduce costs through voluntary redundancy schemes to cope with current budget cuts.

“The college sector is facing a flat-cash budget going forward and, within this severely constrained financial environment, colleges have a duty to protect the world-class learning opportunities provided for their students. It is, therefore, especially disheartening to see the EIS-FELA considering a boycott of student results prior to the summer.

“College Employers Scotland continues to speak to government to seek additional funding for staff pay claims, and our offer to work jointly with EIS-FELA on this matter remains open.”

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