EIS-ULA has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in Scotland's Higher Education sector.

The EIS is working with other unions representing staff in the University sector across the UK to campaign for a fair pay rise for our members. The EIS-ULA postal ballot will run until the 30th October.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Our members in the Higher Education sector have been subjected to a decade of deep real-terms pay cuts, now in excess of 20%."

"The offer from University employers for the year 2019/2020, at 1.8%, amounts to yet another real-terms cut in lecturers' pay."

"At the same time that pay has been cut, workload has increased which means that lecturers are continually being told to do more for less. It is now time for university lecturers to make a stand for fair pay."

Mr Flanagan added, "The reality is that Universities are choosing to invest in other areas – such as buildings – rather than in their staff."

"After nearly a decade of sub-inflationary pay settlements, the only avenue left open to us to secure a significant improvement in lecturers' and academic related staff pay is through industrial action. The EIS now urges all EIS-ULA members to vote yes for industrial action in this important ballot."

As the real terms' value of lecturers' pay continues to fall, spending on Principals' salaries exceeded £4.8 million in Scotland in 2017/18 - an increase of over 11% from the previous year.

It is little surprise therefore that the Scottish Government is calling for action and urging senior figures within the university sector to demonstrate restraint in their own pay packages. Despite all of this, the Universities & Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) has refused to re-enter pay negotiations for the 2019-20 pay round and has called on Higher Education Institutions to impose the meagre 1.8% pay offer.

While Scotland's teachers and college lecturers have achieved significant pay settlements in recent years, based on negotiations at a national level within Scotland, pay for Higher Education continues to be settled at a UK level through the New JNCHES framework.

The EIS believes that staff in Scotland's Universities have been let down by this bargaining process and that it is now time for the employers to show that they value Higher Education and value lecturers.