EIS boosts FE strike support with major financial commitment

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The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest union for teachers and lecturers, has today provided a major boost to support for striking lecturers in the Further Education sector.

At its meeting today (Friday) in Edinburgh, the national EIS Executive agreed to release funding from the Institute’s Professional Fund to provide financial support to help offset members’ loss of pay on future strike days.

Thousands of Further Education Lecturers in colleges across Scotland were on strike yesterday (Thursday) for the second day this week, and the fourth day overall, in an ongoing dispute over the failure of College Management to honour a deal on pay and conditions that was reached more than a year ago.

The March 2016 NJNC agreement promised equal pay for lecturers in all colleges and national terms and conditions, following years of pay inequity for lecturers doing the same jobs in different colleges.

Two further days of strike action are scheduled for next week, with strike action then set to escalate to three days of action per week in subsequent weeks until a resolution is reached.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Today’s decision by the EIS Executive to release a substantial sum of money from the EIS professional fund to support the ongoing strike action is a marker of our ongoing absolute commitment to backing our members in the Further Education sector. This is a dispute that lecturers did not want, and one that the EIS worked hard to avoid over the past year, but it is also a dispute that we are absolutely determined to win. Promises were made to FE lecturers by management in the deal that was agreed over one year ago. The EIS will not rest until that agreement is delivered, as promised and in full.”

Mr Flanagan added: “Lecturers never take strike action lightly, and are taking this action as a last resort. Our members are eager to see this dispute resolved, so that they can return to working as normal to provide as much support as possible to students in our colleges. While the EIS will continue to engage in constructive talks with management in the hope of resolving this dispute, we are also absolutely ready and willing to sustain this strike action for the long term until management honour the deal that they signed.”