The EIS will open a new industrial action ballot this week in its commitment to fight for a fair pay rise for university lecturers.

A national ballot organised late last year by the EIS 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.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan commented, "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 while the pay of University Principals has soared."

"Workload is increasing across the sector, placing ever greater strain on lecturing staff who are working harder and longer for ever-decreasing pay. 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 continued, "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."

"The result of the recent General Election is a worrying result for all public sector employees, with an emboldened UK government returned to Westminster with a history of attacking workers' rights, curtailing the work of unions, and driving down public sector pay."

"Now is the time for our university lecturer members to make a stand, to secure fair pay for the vital work that they do."

Mr Flanagan added, "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. As Scotland's teachers and Further Education Lecturers have shown in recent years, standing together through their union can deliver successful campaigns on pay."

"Our slogan for this campaign: 'Lecturers’ pay – the difference is striking' makes clear that a vote for industrial action can make a huge difference is securing a fair pay deal for Scotland’s university lecturers."

The postal ballot opens on Wednesday this week, and will run until Thursday 30th January.