College staff strike over pay dispute

Staff at Fife College are on strike.
Staff at Fife College are on strike.

Lecturers at Fife College have begun strike action today (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 strike action after claiming that college management reneged over an agreement to equalise lecturer’s pay across Scotland in March last year.

Today’s 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.”

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.

“It’s very disappointing. We thought we had made a breakthrough. The money is agreed and the money is there – what’s the problem?

“We’re hoping this can be solved very quickly.”

A spokesman for Fife College said they were “disappointed at the planned strike action.”