The EIS has today (Friday) opened a statutory industrial action ballot for members at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
The move towards industrial action has been prompted by a pay and grading dispute, and follows an indicative ballot that showed strong support amongst lecturers at SRUC for industrial action.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The EIS has, today, opened a statutory industrial action ballot for our members at SRUC. We would urge all members at the institution to use their votes in this important ballot, and to support the move to industrial action. Pay for lecturers at SRUC has fallen significantly behind the norms across both the Further and Higher education sectors, and the pay offer made to our members for this year is also completely inadequate. It is time for management at SRUC to pay their lecturers fairly and, also, to carry out a long-overdue pay and grading review that was previously agreed.”
The pay offer made this year by SRUC management would result in sub-inflation pay awards for the majority of EIS members, with almost half of all members being offered no pay increase at all. With SRUC staff already being paid significantly less than FE and HE lecturers in other institutions, the EIS has rejected this pay offer.
Mr Flanagan added, “SRUC staff have shown a great deal of patience as the EIS and other staff unions have engaged with management in an attempt to find a fair solution. That patience is now exhausted as a result of SRUC management’s continued procrastination on the agreed pay and grading review, together with a derisory pay offer for this year that would see SRUC staff fall even further behind their colleagues in other FE and HE institutions. This ballot will send a strong message to SRUC that they can no longer take their teaching staff for granted – they must now commit to delivering the pay and grading review and to pay their lecturing staff fairly.”
The statutory ballot, which opened today, will run until the 23rd of June. The recent consultative ballot showed overwhelming support for the move to industrial action – with 88% of members indicating support for industrial action short of strike, and 79% of members showing support for strike action.