Forth Valley College: Lecturers' planned industrial action due to start next week

Planned industrial action – including strike dates and action short of strike – due to a national pay dispute will start at Forth Valley College next week.

By Fiona Dobie
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:30 pm

EIS-FELA lecturing staff are in dispute over more pay through the national bargaining process and have posted notice of 14 proposed days of action.

Three are planned for April and 11 in May with the first following the Easter break on Wednesday, April 20.

As a result all full time, evening, apprenticeship programmes and school partnership provision at the college will be canceled that day unless alternative arrangements are put in place by individual departments with students involved being contacted directly.

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The first day of planned industrial action at Forth Valley College is due to take place next week.

The college has said any interviews linked to 2022/23 recruitment planned for this first day of action will go ahead or will be rescheduled and the exam programme and commercial training courses will go ahead as planned.

The Learning Resource Centres, refectories and gyms will remain open, however the salons and the Gallery Restaurant at the Stirling campus will be closed.

Students have been assured no one will be disadvantaged in regards to their bursary, childcare or EMA funding as a consequence of the industrial action.

Professor Ken Thomson, principal, said: “For 2021/22, EIS-FELA have rejected a £850 pay offer, consolidated on all pay points and a one-off £200 non-consolidated payment.

“The college sector is already facing significant challenges in the months to come due to funding cuts and the implications these may have.

"Along with others, we are also focusing on recovery following the pandemic and the affect this has had on the sector.

"Our students have already had to overcome so much over the past two years.

"The proposed action including strike days, working to rule and a resulting boycott, could potentially have a serious detrimental effect for these students in progressing their qualifications and their future opportunities.

“The end of the academic year is crucial to ensuring students achieve their qualifications and our focus just now should be on supporting them not putting their future plans at any further risk.

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“Early planning is therefore essential in order to support our students and minimise the impact wherever possible.

“We are currently considering our resourcing options and the impact on our students.

“We are also putting measures in place in order to balance the need to offer a service whilst also mitigating the results of any action taken.

"With appropriate planning in place we are confident we can minimise any impact on our students.

“However, please be assured that we are working hard to ensure we continue to offer the very best learning experiences and ultimately help them achieve their qualifications.

"We have overcome challenges in the past and I am confident that we will continue to do so.

“Our aim is to minimise the impact on learning and teaching, wherever possible, and continue to deliver the best possible learning experiences for our students whilst a resolution is found for this national dispute.

"College Employers Scotland continue to meet with EIS-FELA in the hope they can reach agreement and avoid industrial action.

"Our key priority is to ensure our students can complete their qualifications and move forward onto their next steps.”

Information and guidance for staff, students, partners and stakeholders on the industrial action and can be accessed here