Fife College staff to vote on new pay deal

Fife College lecturers striking over unfair pay last week
Fife College lecturers striking over unfair pay last week

Fife College lecturers who chose to strike over unfair levels of pay are set to vote on a new offer.

Staff at the Kingdom’s FE college’s joined EIS-FELA collegues last Thursday in a nationwide strike over disparity in the pay lecturers recieve in Scotland.

Further planned strikes were called off at the weekend after an offer was made which will see all FE staff on level pay by April 2019.

Yesterday a unanimous decision to recommend acceptance of the new deal was taken at a special meeting of the EIS-FELA Executive.

The ballot for members opens next Tuesday and closes on Tuesday, April 19.

John Kelly, EIS-FELA president said, “The new pay offer is a good agreement that settles pay until April 2017 and agrees that £40,207 will be the top of the scale salary for unpromoted lecturers across the colleges in Scotland – to be implemented in steps by April 2019.

“The offer also sets out a timetable to establish national pay scales and a common set of terms and conditions for all teaching staff.”

He added: “This demonstrates what can be achieved by workers standing united and working collectively through their trade union to stand up for their rights.

“We have fought off the imposition of a pay settlement and secured a better, and fairer, pay structure for Scotland’s FE lecturers.”

Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary, called the pay offer “a major victory”.

He said: “Last week, colleges were issuing statements and writing to newspapers claiming that they could not afford to offer a better deal, and that the EIS pay claim was unrealistic.

“Now, after one day of co-ordinated strike action by college lecturers and one day of face-to-face negotiations, we have a greatly improved offer which addresses each of the priorities set by the EIS.

“Our EIS-FELA members should take great pride in what they have achieved, and I would urge every member to use their vote in the forthcoming ballot and to vote to accept the new pay offer.”

A Fife College lecturer, who took part in last week’s strike, said all lecturing staff are “delighted” with the outcome of pay negotiations, adding: “I think this was about more than just pay or conditions, though - it was about showing that trade unions still have a very important role to play in the workplace.

“Staff need to stick together and show solidarity over issues like this, otherwise management think they can get away with offering the bare minimum.

“Look at all the places currently paying minimum wage on zero hours contract - trade unions are more important now than ever.

“The EIS did us proud and have delivered a fantastic result. To hear that we aren’t even losing pay over the strike day we took is the icing on the cake!”