Comment on the EIS-FELA Ballot Result
Commenting on the EIS-FELA ballot which closed yesterday (Thursday, 31 March 2022), Alex Linkston, Chair of the Employers’ Association, said:
“It is deeply disappointing that the EIS-FELA has voted to take industrial action. We cannot offer money that we do not have.
“Less than one in four college lecturers in Scotland have voted to strike. This is a weak result which could cause serious disruption to our students.
“We are looking forward to meeting with the EIS-FELA next week to continue discussions.
“Our offer pushes colleges to the absolute financial max. We have offered all lecturing staff an extra £1,000 this year, equivalent to an average increase of 2.2%. This is more than teachers, civil servants, police, and fire service have already accepted. Part of the reason such a significant offer is on the table is employers’ want to acknowledge the outstanding work carried out by college staff throughout the pandemic.
“Colleges are facing a real terms funding cut of £51.9m for the next academic year – it is almost impossible to balance the books – and colleges are having to make stark choices. Nonetheless the good offer to staff is there for them to accept and remove the risk of disruption to students.
“College lecturers in Scotland already have excellent pay, terms and conditions – by far the best in the UK – and we would urge the EIS-FELA to accept the offer on the table.”
Notes to Editors:
• There are 7,327 lecturers in Scotland’s colleges (full-time and part-time). 4,670 were entitled to vote in the EIS-FELA ballot. 2,425 votes were cast.
• 2155 (89.3%) voted Yes on Question 1, are you prepared to take action short of strike, with 259 (10.7%) voting No.
• 1766 (73.3%) voted Yes on Question 2, are you prepared to take strike action, with 644 (26.7%) voting No.
• Therefore only 1,766 lecturers in Scotland (24.1%) have voted Yes to strike.
• Infographic comparators for lecturers in the rest of UK and the public sector in Scotland can be found at http://www.collegeemployersscotland.ac.uk/news/latest/465-college-lecturer-infographics
• The employers have offered all college lecturers in Scotland a total of £1,000 made up of a consolidated pay award of £850 for all unpromoted and promoted lecturer scale points as well as an award of £150 as a one-off payment in gratitude for the efforts made during the pandemic at a cost of £7.4m.
• The EIS-FELA is seeking a consolidated flat-rated pay rise of £1,300 on all national salary scale points for unpromoted and promoted lecturers which would cost £9.4m.
• The Scottish Budget 2022/23 means colleges losing £51.9m. This is £23.9 million because of inflation, with an additional £28 million removed because of the loss of Covid-19 funding previously received. This has provided much needed support for deferred students, Foundation Apprenticeships, mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and vital digital equipment for students.
• College Employers Scotland is the new name of the Employers’ Association, the website is at http://www.collegeemployersscotland.ac.uk/