Strike action to begin at Fife College

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Lecturers at Fife College will begin strike action tomorrow (Thursday) as part of a long-running dispute over fair pay.

A massive 96 per cent of the members of teacher’s union EIS-FELA voted for industrial action after claiming that college management reneged over an agreement made in March last year to equalise lecturer’s pay across Scotland.

The strikes strike is the first of 11 days of strikes planned over the next five weeks.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “This dispute arose following the reneging by college management of a binding national agreement delivering fair pay that was reached more than a year ago.

“Instead of working to deliver that agreement – that was freely entered into – college managers have spent the last 12 months dragging their collective feet and attempting to undermine the pay harmonisation that they themselves agreed to in March last year.

“The level of duplicity that has been displayed by college management regarding this pay deal has been simply staggering.

Alison Davidson, EIS spokesman for Fife College, said: “The first 25 per cent of harmonisation was supposed to be paid in April of this year.

“Separate talks were to be held which would aim at harmonising pay with terms and conditions. Management have now sought to link pay with a deterioration in conditions of service.

“They are trying to increase our teaching hours, decrease our prep time and decrease our holidays.

“Conditions and pay have never been linked.”

Alison said that strike action was being taken as a last resort.

“We’ve been in talks now for over a year about how we would be matched across Scotland, she said, “The money has been banked – it’s not about affordability.

“There has been a huge element of frustration over something that we genuinely believed had been resolved last year.”

A spokesman for Fife College said they were “disappointed at the planned strike action which is taking place while national negotiations continue”.