The EIS-ULA is to open a new industrial action ballot in its commitment to fight for a fair pay rise for university lecturers.

A recent national ballot organised by the EIS, calling for action, showed overwhelming support for strike action, with over 84% voting in favour of action.

However, as a result of strict ballot thresholds in the UK government's anti-trade union act, the national ballot fell just short of a legal mandate for strike action.

The new ballot will operate on a disaggregated basis which means that strike action can be taken at the individual universities, should members vote in favour.

A meeting of the EIS Emergency Committee, held today in Edinburgh, gave approval for the new strike ballot to be opened in January.

Commenting following the decision, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Higher education lecturers deserve a fair pay settlement, following years of pay decline.  Lecturers' pay has been cut, in real terms, by more than 20% over the past decade."

"Scotland's teachers and Scotland's further education lecturers recently won significant pay settlements, through a combination of strong EIS campaigning and the use, or potential use, of industrial action. It is now time for Scotland's higher education lecturers to take a stand and demand the fair pay deal that is due to them,"

Mr Flanagan added, "Our recent national ballot across Scotland’s university sector showed overwhelming support for taking strike action is pursuit of a fair pay deal."

"Unfortunately, however, as a result of the extremely strict anti-strike legislation brought in by the UK Conservative government, the EIS ballot fell just short of a legal mandate for strike action."

"By taking this decision today, to open a new strike ballot, the EIS is making it clear that it will not back down on the issue of pay. I would urge all ULA members to use their vote in this important ballot, and to vote in favour of strike action in pursuit of a fair pay deal."

Further information on the strike ballot will be published in the near future.