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Comment on EIS-FELA's escalation of strike action

Commenting on the EIS-FELA’s announcement of escalating strike action over three weeks from 20 May 2024, Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland (CES), said: “It is deeply regrettable that the EIS-FELA is planning yet more strikes over May and into June. This latest escalation from the trade union will not result in improved pay proposals from employers, only disruption to students as they undertake vital exams and assessments.

“The employers’ offer of a £5,000 consolidated pay rise over three academic years is full and final. Colleges have seen their public funding cut by 8.5% in real terms since 2021/22 and are facing a further cash reduction of £32.7 million in 2024/25 - they simply cannot afford to go beyond the full and final offer already on the table.

“If accepted by the EIS-FELA, the employers’ proposals would deliver an 11.5% average pay increase for lecturers from September. Lecturers at the start of the National Pay Scale would receive an increase of 14.2%.

“These proposed pay rises are substantial. Based on the first two years of the offer, an average lecturer earning £43,357 in 2021/22 would now be £1,465 better off than under public sector pay guidelines. Employers have also been clear that no compulsory redundancies would result directly from the pay offer.

“The quickest way to resolve this dispute is for the EIS-FELA to cancel their escalation of strike action and formally ballot their members on the employers’ full and final three-year pay offer.”


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