Lecturers take to the picket lines

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Lecturers at Dundee & Angus College joined colleagues across the country for a day of strike action last week stemming from an unfulfilled pay and conditions deal.

According to the Educational Institute of Scotland union thousands of Further Education lecturers went on strike on Thursday with picket lines going up at colleges across Scotland.

The strike was the result of an agreement made last year to provide equal pay for lecturers in all colleges and national terms and conditions, following years of disparity.

On Wednesday at the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Aviemore, delegates debated an emergency Motion on the dispute and voted unanimously to send their support to lecturers and to urge college management to honour the deal previously made.

EIS-FELA president John Kelly said: “What lecturers are on strike for is not, as management claim, more money.

“The pay element of this deal was agreed by both sides over a year ago, as was the timetable for its implementation.

“Our sole demand is that the deal struck last year should be honoured. Rather than wasting taxpayers’ money on spin against the agreement, college management should instead focus on delivering that agreement as promised.”

D&A College’s administration hopes that the unions and the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association can reach an agreement soon before further strikes take place.

D&A College Principal Grant Ritchie said: “While we hope a satisfactory agreement will be met soon, we were forced to cancel classes on the strike day.

“We did however keep our libraries and learning centres open for private study.

“It is really disappointing to have to take this action so close to the exam season.

“With the introduction of national collective bargaining unions now negotiate with Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association and not the individual colleges.

“D&A College continues to enjoy excellent relations with unions representing both support and academic staff.”