Scots college lecturers to reject final pay offer

Scotland’s college lecturers are preparing for industrial action, as they look set to reject a final pay offer from college bosses.
Lecturers will now prepare for industrial action. Picture: AFPLecturers will now prepare for industrial action. Picture: AFP
Lecturers will now prepare for industrial action. Picture: AFP

Union leaders say lecturers have grown “increasingly angry” at the delay in the pay negotiation process and the ­tabling of a final offer by the employers.

The final pay offer of a 1 per cent consolidated pay award to lecturers replaces the previous “risible” offer of 1 per cent “unconsolidated” pay award, the unconsolidated – or across the board – offer being a first in the Scottish public sector. Lecturers are also concerned that the 1 per cent offer to all lecturers will add to the significant differences in pay levels that have developed across colleges.

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The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) believes this round of negotiations must attempt to start correcting these pay imbalances rather than worsen them by awarding a percentage increase and has called on the government to intervene.

Unions want all unpromoted lecturers to earn up to £40,386, amounting to an uplift of between 3.3 per cent and 25 per cent across the best and worst-paying colleges.

A 1 per cent across-the-board rise would widen pay disparities as top earners would get £390 extra while lower-paid staff would get much less. The issue is to be discussed at a EIS-FLA meeting in Glasgow in two weeks’ time.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “It is unacceptable for the management side to drag the pay round for almost a year, only to then offer exactly the same cash-terms percentage pay rise that was previously proposed and rejected.

“The Scottish Government should now act to ensure a satisfactory outcome. It is highly likely, given the current mood, that an overwhelming rejection of the pay offer and a move towards a campaign of industrial action will be the most likely outcomes.”

A government spokesman said: “It is disappointing that more progress has not been made in setting this year’s pay deal but we hope [discussions] will result in a settlement being agreed.”