Lecturers stage protest as cuts loom

FALKIRK. Forth Valley College. EIS and Unison demonstrating against college cuts. Supported by students.
FALKIRK. Forth Valley College. EIS and Unison demonstrating against college cuts. Supported by students.

college lecturers are threatening to go on strike to save their jobs.

The angry teachers staged a demonstration outside the Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College on Monday in protest at proposed cuts.

FALKIRK. Forth Valley College. EIS and Unison demonstrating against college cuts. Supported by students.

FALKIRK. Forth Valley College. EIS and Unison demonstrating against college cuts. Supported by students.

As many as 100 frontline staff working in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa are facing the axe due to a budget shortfall.

They have already unanimously backed a call from the EIS Further Education Lecturers Association to ballot for industrial action and are furious that, despite the Scottish Funding Council saying colleges should “focus on maintaining the quality of learning and teaching”, their bosses are targeting them for early retirement and voluntary severance.

The college has been told to slash spending by £3 million this year and principal Linda McKay and her senior management team have not ruled out compulsory redundancies. A 90-day consultation with the EIS and Unison is due to end on April 26.

Ahead of the deadline the EIS is ready to fight for every job at risk.

Branch secretary Billy McChord said: “Up to the equivalent of 40 full-time posts are under threat, but after taking into account lecturers who work part-time that figure could rise to 60. In addition, the future of 40 learning development workers and administration staff who work closely with our members and play a key role in the college structure is also in doubt. Losing that many frontline posts would obviously impact on the quality of learning and teaching.

“As a union we are concerned about where all this might end and the impact it will have on the ability of one of the best colleges in the country to continue to deliver further education at the highest level.

‘‘Forth Valley has worked hard to be named the top college in the country more than once and cutting back in key areas is not good news for our members or their students.”

The union has called on the community to lobby their MPs and MSPs for a rethink of plans.