Union welcomes ruling on long-running dispute over Forth Valley College lecturer posts

A union has said a ruling that confirmed positions at Forth Valley College (FVC) as lecturer posts is in the “best interest” of staff and students.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:30 pm

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) welcomed the judgement by the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC), which found that FVC jobs at the centre of a long-running dispute are, indeed, lecturing posts – and therefore subject to lecturers’ terms and conditions.

The union had been in disagreement with management at FVC, which has premises in Falkirk, Alloa and Stirling, over the downgrading of the positions and took industrial action short of strike action and strike action to make its views known.

In a move to resolve the protracted dispute between the two parties, a joint referral was made to the NJNC – the collective bargaining machinery of Scottish colleges and staff – for it to determine as to whether the ‘instructor assessor’ posts at the college were lecturers in line with NJNC agreements or not.

Lecturers have been reinstated to their positions following a drawn out dispute between the EIS union and management at Forth Valley College. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Lecturers have been reinstated to their positions following a drawn out dispute between the EIS union and management at Forth Valley College. Picture: Michael Gillen.

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Both the EIS and FVC agreed the determination would be binding.

Anne Marie Harley, EIS-FELA branch convener at FVC, said: “This is fantastic news and the branch is extremely pleased that the joint referral made to the NJNC has found that the disputed ‘instructor assessor’ posts are indeed lecturer posts.

“This determination vindicates the branch’s campaign and industrial action in protecting the role of lecturers at Forth Valley College This is an outcome that is in the best interest of the college, its lecturing staff and its students.”

Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary, said: “The EIS welcomes this finding by the NJNC, in a ruling that protects lecturers’ jobs, pay and conditions.

“Our members at the EIS-FELA Forth Valley branch should be commended for the stance they have taken in defence of lecturing jobs and the right of those performing the role of lecturers to be paid fairly and to enjoy appropriate conditions of service.

“We also welcome that the college has accepted this ruling, that the instructor assessor post has been removed from the college structure and that the affected members of staff will be reinstated as lecturers.”

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