Forth Valley College 'deeply disappointed' by EIS members' plan for industrial action

Forth Valley College (FVC) is “deeply disappointed” over a move by a teaching union to take industrial action.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 12:30 pm

EIS members will take action short of striking from November 10 until January 29, 2021 in protest against a plan to remove 30 lecturers’ jobs at FVC’s campuses in Falkirk, Alloa and Stirling and replace these posts with support staff.

The union says the proposal is a cost-cutting exercise that will risk “students’ right to quality education”.

However, the college has hit back at the planned industrial action and claimed its decision to introduce support staff in place of lecturers will enhance both learning and teaching.

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Forth Valley College principal Dr Ken Thomson. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Dr Ken Thomson, FVC principal, said: “We are deeply disappointed that some EIS FELA members are planning to take action short of strike action.

“This is despite only having 42 per cent agreement with the overall EIS membership at the college.

“The proposed actions will have a serious detrimental effect for our students in progressing their qualifications and their future opportunities.

“These are students who are already facing challenges due to the ongoing pandemic. Our focus just now should be on supporting them not putting their future plans at any further risk.

“We have fully consulted with staff throughout this process and have full support from our Board of Management. Any decisions we have taken have been made to enhance the learning experience for our students.

“This is about improving the quality of learning and teaching and bringing it in line with the needs of industry and employers and our proven successful vocational model. As an organisation, we must be flexible and responsive to these needs and evolve.

“The new instructor assessor role is now established at the college – and other colleges throughout the country – and we are confident it will strengthen our delivery model and benefit our students.

“We are disappointed that our EIS representatives are saying to their EIS members that this is only the first of many changes to lecturers’ posts.

“We have made our position clear, there are no plans to make any further structural changes and we must move on collectively in the best interests of our students.”

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