Forth Valley College staff begin three months of industrial action

Employees at Forth Valley College (FVC) have begun their industrial action over what they feel are cuts to 30 lecturer posts.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 12:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 12:39 pm

EIS members at FVC will be working to rule – where members will do no more than the minimum required by their contract – with further industrial action possibly escalating to a refusal to take an accurate student register, a marking boycott, and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

The action will run until January 29 next year, unless and until a resolution is found in the dispute over the introduction of new instructor assessor roles.

According to the EIS the proposed changes are a retrograde step for the profession and the students. The new roles are lower paid, with more class contact hours, less time for preparation, and reduced annual leave.

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EIS members have begun three months of industrial action at Forth Valley Colleg

The union also stated the move will impact the quality of education on offer to students. The new roles don’t require a teaching qualification or General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) recognition.

Earlier this year FVC management said any strike action would be “an attack on learners”.

FVC principal Dr Ken Thomson OBE added: “The Instructor Assessor is a role which is now established at Forth Valley College. There is no going back and we must move on.

“The action by EIS is hugely disappointing and any future strike action will have major implications for the College and our students. This attack on learners by the EIS following a difficult period in education, is not something Forth Valley College can endorse or accept as reasonable.

“We are already facing huge challenges in light of significant financial pressures and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.”

This week Forth Valley College EIS branch rep Alison Addie said: “The changes have devastated staff. We’ve been lecturers for years – now we’ve been told that we’re just support staff.

“I’m really worried about the direction of the college and the impact on students. We want to seek a resolution with management. The college have said there’s no going back so we will take all action necessary to protect our jobs and our students’ education.”