Fife College support staff set to join colleagues in national day of strike over pay, terms and conditions
The union Unison has announced its members will take part in a national strike day on September 7, followed by a rolling programme of dates for localised action in colleges across the country.
Although college employers have increased their offer from two per cent to £3500 flat rate payment over two years, the union says this comes with a real threat of compulsory redundancies of college support staff.
The union’s members include librarians, IT specialists, technicians, administrative and business support staff, cleaners, canteen workers and estate management staff.
In April, staff who belong to Unison voted overwhelmingly – 93 per cent – to strike.
Chris Greenshields, Unison’s further education branch secretary, said: “College staff were due this pay increase a year ago. It’s unacceptable, even by the standards of the college sector, to take this long to agree a pay deal. The employers’ idea of a resolution to the crisis is to threaten our members with compulsory redundancy. Effectively members are being asked to pay for their own pay rise with their job, during a cost-of-living crisis. We need the same guarantee that has been given to the rest of the public sector that there will be no compulsory redundancies.
"Unison has appealed to the Scottish Government to help us find a solution – employers must extend the no compulsory redundancy guarantee to college staff. Colleges are publicly funded but the government refuses to intervene. The Minister seems willing to allow the strikes to proceed rather than ensure staff get a decent pay rise.”
The union has a mandate for strike action at 20 colleges across Scotland. A total of 93 per cent of members, on a turnout of 62 per cent, voted in favour of strike action in April over colleges’ failure to agree on pay and the national harmonisation of terms and conditions.
The dates for further local strikes have not yet been announced by the union but are expected in the coming days.