Starting from tomorrow, over 200 EIS members at Forth Valley College are set to take strike action in another escalation in the dispute over the removal of 30 lecturers’ jobs.
College staff will be striking across three different campuses, including Falkirk, Alloa, and Stirling for 18 days over three months, from Wednesday 17 March. The decision to take industrial action follows a strike ballot that resulted in 77% of members voting yes to the escalation, on a 55% turnout.
The dispute is escalating as year-long talks between the branch and the employer have failed to bring about a resolution, since the changes were made last March. The changes included the replacement of lecturers’ posts with support staff across different departments, including hairdressing, construction, engineering, and care. The new roles are lower paid and, controversially, don’t require any teaching qualification.
The EIS believes that its members are being asked to do the same job, but with much lower pay, less annual leave, and no limit to class contact time. The college simply wants more for less.
Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary said “We are very concerned about the removal of the role of qualified and experienced lecturers in Scottish further education. We won’t accept that for our members and we won’t accept it for students. I urge Forth Valley college management to do the right thing and review these posts as a matter of urgency.”
Anne-Marie Harley, EIS Branch Convener, said “It is unforgivable that we’ve had to deal with this during a global pandemic - on top of everything else. My colleagues have seen a huge increase in workload. At the minute, there is just not enough time for my colleagues to mark and prepare work the way they used to. We know our students and we want what’s best for them - that’s qualified and experienced lecturers.”