UNISON’s further education (FE) members across Scotland will go on strike today (Tuesday) for fair pay. At close of business yesterday, the Scottish further education employers had failed to offer any acceptable way forward in the pay dispute involving some 2,300 UNISON support workers across 20 FE colleges.
As a consequence, courses have ceased; classes cancelled; workplace nurseries closed; school pupils denied vocational training and students with learning needs turned away from colleges.
John Gallacher, Scottish organiser, said:
“It is tragic that the FE employers failed to resolve this dispute before it happened. The difference between what the employers had offered and what would have solved the dispute was a bridgeable gap. Instead of crossing the bridge to settlement talks, the FE employers’ association has chosen conflict with difficult consequences for the sector and its students.”
Chris Greenshields, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s further education committee, said:“UNISON members in further education will reluctantly withdraw their labour today (Tuesday). The message is loud and clear that UNISON members in the sector are fed up being treated as second class citizens and the value of their contribution t the sector demeaned. We have been offered an annual pay rise which is about half that which the same employers thought fair and reasonable, and affordable, for teaching staff. We are simply asking for fair pay.”
Notes to editors
Picket lines will be outside every college campus from Stornoway to Stranraer. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer and/or crew to a rally at:
•Buchanan Street stairs, Glasgow, 12.30 to 1.30 (UNISON, UNITE, GMB, EIS).
For further information please contact:
•John Gallacher, UNISON lead officer for FE, 07904 342 426
•Chris Greenshields, chair of UNISON Scotland’s further education committee, 07521 914 357
• Shirley Sephton, vice chair of UNISON Scotland’s further education committee, 0777 891 1123