College lecturers take action after pay talks stall

Lecturers from New College Lanarklshire take part in the day of action
Lecturers from New College Lanarklshire take part in the day of action

Lecturers at New College Lanarkshire engaged in a ‘day of action’ in support of their campaign for a fair cost of living pay increase.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Further Education Lecturers’ Association (FELA) are currently being balloted on industrial action over their pay dispute.

The day of action saw the launch the national Petition to Support Fair Pay for College Lecturers wich calls on he employers to engage meaningfully in negotiations and for the Government to stand by its pay policy.

EIS FELA branch secretary at New College Lanarkshire, Eileen Imlah said: “All workers need cost-of-living

rises to enable their pay to keep up with rising living costs. Lecturers at New College Lanarkshire

have not had a cost-of-living pay rise since 2016.

“EIS FELA, representing all college lecturers, put in a pay claim for 2017-18 in December 2016. Negotiations on this pay claim has ebbed and flowed, and finally stalled earlier this year.

“Strike action now seems the only way in which we can get the employers to re-open meaningful pay negotiations in order to seek an improvement on the Employers’ ‘final offer’.

“EIS FELA is simply asking the employers to provide a similar pay award for college lecturers as they have for college support staff – applying the public sector pay award.

“The employers’ current cost-of-living pay offer amounts to an extra 0.2 per cent on the pay bill in 2017-18, and an extra 0.8 per cent in 2018-19 – giving a derisory cost-of-living pay increase. Not only are these well below inflation, but they are also non-consolidated.

“College lecturers are currently undergoing a pay harmonisation programme which effectively corrects the inequal pay for equal work that existed across the sector for over 20 years.

“Most lecturers’ salaries have gained as a result of this process – although many (in the better paid colleges) have not gained much at all in the last three years. Structural pay reform, correcting inequal pay, is entirely different to cost-of-living pay rises.

“As lecturers, despite the fact that we are part of the college sector, we have found ourselves having to fight in order to have equal pay and now we have to fight in order get the basic Scottish Government cost-of-living pay rise.

“This is unfortunate and not of our choosing – we would prefer concentrating all our energies on teaching students.”