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15 May 2019, 07:13
College lecturers across Scotland are to go on two days of strike action this week amid a long-running pay dispute.
Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Further Education Lecturers' Association (FELA) will again walk out on Wednesday and Thursday.
Those going on strike have already taken four days of action in this dispute with the further two days coming despite a meeting with Colleges Scotland on Monday to resolve the issue.
Lecturers are demanding what they say is a fair cost of living increase, in line with public-sector pay policy.
Pam Currie, EIS-FELA president said: "We are balloting our members on national terms and conditions which we agreed with college management as a separate workstream.
"This agreement provides for flexible working for college lecturers - a practice which already exists in the sector.
"It underlines lecturer professionalism and allows for work, such as preparation and marking, to be done off site, with the involvement of the line manager.
"To seek to portray this as a four-day working week is disingenuous and only serves to frustrate efforts to find a resolution to what is a dispute over pay.
"Lecturers will be on the picket lines in force on Wednesday and Thursday at colleges across Scotland, and are also continuing with action short of strike including a boycott of college results systems.
"The EIS would urge colleges to come back to the negotiating table, ready to engage in talks on a meaningful basis, so that we can agree a fair pay settlement that will allow lecturers to return to working normally in support of students across the country."
Interim director of employment services for Colleges Scotland Employers' Association, Heather Stevenson, said the number of lecturers on strike has "waned by almost a quarter since the first strike action".
She added: "Colleges are doing everything we can to end this dispute for the sake of students, who are being deliberately targeted by the EIS-FELA.
"Progress has been made in recent discussions, so it is incredibly disappointing that the EIS-FELA has rejected our calls to suspend the strikes.
"The EIS-FELA should not be attacking students in this way by striking during exams and withholding students' assessment results, but colleges are mitigating the impact of their action and we are confident their attempts to cause maximum disruption will not succeed, despite them paying their members to go out on strike."