New College Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire College students set for disruption as lecturers vote for rolling strike action over pay dispute

The return to higher education after the summer looks set to be disrupted after college lecturers voted for strike action.

And that will see staff at New College Lanarkshire take to the picket line.

Lanarkshire students heading to colleges across Scotland – including nearby South Lanarkshire College – could see timetables affected, with the national action marking an escalation in an ongoing pay dispute.

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It follows months in which members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) engaged in action short of strike, such as boycotts and work to contract.

On Thursday, EIS gave notice to all of Scotland’s colleges of a programme of sustained strike action.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradely told us: “Members are incredulous that college employers have stated they must accept a pay offer that would result in hundreds of job losses in colleges across Scotland.

“No group of workers should be strong-armed into trading jobs for pay.

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“Meanwhile, the Scottish Government have stood idly by and allowed this crisis to develop, then intensify, and now must act to ensure any pay award made to college lecturers is fully funded, in order to ensure a pay rise will not be financed by job losses.”

College lecturers should have received a pay uplift at the beginning of September 2022.

After a year of protracted negotiations, College Employers Scotland say their ‘full and final’ offer would have to be financed through significant job losses across the college sector.

EIS-FELA branded this unacceptable and rejected the offer.

A rolling programme of strikes will begin on Thursday, September 7 for 12 days. That will see at least two colleges take strike action on those days.

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Following the conclusion of the rolling strike action, targeted strike action will take place in constituencies of Scottish government ministers.

That includes Glasgow Clyde College, First Minister’s constituency; Dundee & Angus College, Deputy First Minister’s and Minister for Further Education’s constituencies; and Fife College, which sits in the constituency of the Cabinet Secretary for Education.

The first New College Lanarkshire strike will be on September 11, with South Lanarkshire College staff striking on September 20.

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