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Low turnout for college strikes

Most college lecturers and support staff chose not to take part in strike action called by the EIS-FELA, UNISON and Unite yesterday (7 September).

Data collected by College Employers Scotland indicates that the number of college lecturers who took strike action yesterday was less than half (47.5%) of the lecturer workforce and the number of support staff who took strike action was around a third of headcount (34.8%).

Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland, said: “It looks like most college lecturers and support staff continued to work yesterday, despite strike action. The vast majority of colleges in Scotland remained open for their primary task: educating students.

“Our data indicates less than half of the lecturer workforce took part in yesterday’s strike action, and only around a third of support staff participated in strikes. This low turnout shows that the majority of lecturers and support staff would rather support their students than strike for an increase to an already fair pay offer.

“College Employers Scotland has provided a full and final pay offer to the EIS-FELA and the support staff trade unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) for a cumulative £3,500 pay rise.

“This offer would provide an average pay rise of 8% for lecturers and 11%, on average, for support staff. For support staff earning less than £25,000, the average increase would be over 14%. For lecturers at the start of the pay scale, the increase would be around 10% to a starting salary of almost £39,000 a year.

“Given the fair pay offer already on the table, and yesterday’s low strike turnout, we hope the EIS-FELA, UNISON and Unite will reconsider their plans for rolling strike action across the sector. College Employers Scotland remains open to meeting the trade unions any time to avoid further disruptive strikes.”


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