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After meetings yesterday and today, College Employers Scotland, which represents college employers, has now made its full and final pay offers to the support staff unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) and the EIS-FELA to settle the current pay disputes. 

The employers’ pay offers are for a £2,000 pay rise in 2022/23 and a further £1,500 in 2023/24, providing a cumulative £3,500 uplift for all college staff over the two years.  As these would be flat cash pay awards, they would proportionately benefit those on lower pay, which has been one of the employers’ key principles throughout the pay negotiations.

Colleges are already struggling financially due to cuts of nearly £52m in the current academic year, flat cash budgets going forward and the recent withdrawal of a £26m fund for 2023/24.

Commenting on the final pay offers, Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland, said: 

“Employers simply cannot afford to go beyond these final proposals for a cumulative £3,500 pay rise for staff, as the £51m cost of delivering them will already require painful decisions to be made on jobs and courses.

“We urge our trade union colleagues to be pragmatic and take the employers’ offer to their members for consideration, so that colleges can get back to providing the world-class learning experience that students rightly expect and demand.”  

Commenting on the position of the support staff unions, he said: 

“Employers have requested that support staff unions take this pay offer to their members for consideration, as it would equate to an average 11% pay increase for staff over the two-year period, and even more for those on lower pay.

“The employers have also made a number of commitments in relation to the support staff claim, and which the trade unions are currently considering.”

Commenting on the meeting with EIS-FELA, he said: 

“This pay offer would provide a £3,500 cumulative pay uplift for the lecturers and would mean college lecturers in Scotland maintain their position as the highest paid college lecturers across the UK. 

“Employers are now requesting that the EIS-FELA takes this offer to their members and pause their resulting boycott, which is disrupting the education of college students, as a matter of good will."

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