It has been a busy time for EIS FELA as campuses begin to re-open and students return to FE. Here are some of the issues that EIS FELA have been working on in the last few weeks.
The Scottish Government decided to merge guidance documents about the safe opening of campuses and accommodation blocks for the FE & HE sectors, into one document. We were given limited time to comment on this document, EIS FELA still have concerns about some parts of this guidance and we are working with the Scottish Government to try and improve the document, which is a living document and will change as the situation with Covid 19 does. You can find the full guidance here.
The Scottish Government has also produced a sector advice card which lists all the relevant pieces of guidance for Colleges and Universities.
There is also a Risk Assessment Tool, which can be found here.
EIS branches and Health and Safety Reps are working hard to ensure Colleges are as safe and as Covid secure as possible, but it is not the case that there is zero risk. Please follow the guidance.
Wear masks in communal areas or wherever 2m distancing is not possible, physically distance to at least 2m wherever that is possible and observe good hand hygiene. If you have any specific concerns in your College, please contact your local branch rep without delay.
The Scottish Government have instructed the Scottish Funding Council to undertake a review of funding, sustainability and cohesiveness of Scottish Further and Higher education. EIS has provided a submission to this review.
In early March 2020, a pay claim was submitted to Colleges Scotland. On 20th August, at an NJNC, the management side responded formally to that claim with an offer of 2% consolidated for the coming year.
While this does not fully meet our pay claim, the FELA Executive felt this was a reasonable offer, given the circumstances we are now in and has decided to ballot members, with a recommendation to accept the offer.
Therefore, a consultative electronic ballot has now opened and you will have until 12pm, on Wednesday the 30th September, in which to express your view on whether FELA should accept or reject the offer. If you have not received an email with your voting codes then please contact the Membership Department.
A national dispute has been declared around the misuse of Instructor Assessor Contracts. At Forth Valley College, lecturers have been downgraded to Instructor/Assessor roles despite no fundamental change to their work in our view.
At Fife College, lecturer posts have been replaced with Instructor/Assessor posts and we are aware that these contracts are being expanded in other locations. Two dispute meetings have been held with Colleges Scotland who have refused to accept this is a national issue.
We believe this is a national issue and in many cases Instructor/Assessor posts are being brought in to replace lecturers in order to cut costs and undermine national terms and conditions. As such, this poses a national threat to members’ professional status and their terms & conditions.
The FELA Executive has decided to develop an additional support needs lecturing support network. If you work in this area and would be interested in joining such a network, please send an email to Eileen Imlah c/o email@example.com
Please contact your branch representatives if you have any concerns in your workplace or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Officer Further & Higher Education