Fife College to be hit as lecturers vote for strike action

Fife College, Kirkcaldy
Fife College, Kirkcaldy

Fife College is set to be hit by lecturer strikes after a ballot showed overwhelming support for industrial action.

The strikes would be part of nationwide action by union Educational Institute of Scotland-Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS- FELA).

The union launched the ballot in a bid to win a cost of living pay increase to Further Education lecturers.

The EIS says turnout in the ballot was 52 per cent, with 90 per cent of those voting backing the move to strike action as the ballot closed on Wednesday, December 19.

EIS-FELA president Pam Currie said: “EIS-FELA members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in pursuit of a fair cost of living pay award.

“We are taking this action as a last resort, as the result of management’s unwillingness to negotiate a fair offer.

“Lecturers do not take strike action lightly, and we have done everything that we can over the past two years of talks to attempt to reach a fair negotiated settlement.

“Even at this late stage, we hope that college management will now come back to the table to begin meaningful negotiations and deliver a cost of living increase similar to others in the public sector.”

Fife College refused to comment on the strikes, saying only that it shared the stance taken by Colleges Scotland.

John Gribben, director of employment services at Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said: “It is extremely disappointing that colleges are once again facing disruptive industrial action with the EIS-FELA looking to take lecturers out on strike for the third time in four years.

“The EIS-FELA has rejected a combined offer which would increase lecturers’ pay on average by more than 12 per cent over three years – this is the best pay offer anywhere across Scotland’s public services.

“Lecturers in Scotland are already being offered a better pay deal than Public Sector Pay Policy in Scotland from the combined pay rises and are paid significantly better than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.”