UNISON Scotland has written to Finance Secretary Kate Forbes calling for fair funding for the further and higher education sectors ahead of this week’s Scottish budget announcement.
John Gallacher, UNISON’s Scottish organiser, said: “Urgent intervention from the Scottish Government on behalf of the further and higher education sectors is desperately needed.
“Staff across our colleges and universities have worked harder than ever before under such difficult circumstances these past nine months to keep their institutions running and to support students. But we now need the Scottish Government to step in and provide the financial investment our further and higher education sectors deserve.
“Colleges and universities are some of the largest employers in our communities and will be vital to the country’s post-COVID recovery. But to ensure these sectors are fit for growth in the future the Scottish Government needs to make fair funding of colleges and universities a priority now.”
Chris Greenshields, UNISON’s further education branch secretary, said: “Colleges cannot deliver quality and innovative teaching, training and proper student support and development without qualified, experienced and sufficient numbers of staff.
“There needs to be a return to real terms investment and not a staggering forwards fuelled by ‘efficiency’ drives.”
Lorcan Mullen, UNISON’s head of higher education, said: “UNISON members in Scottish universities want a forward-looking sector focused on excellence in its core functions, not continually driven to cut costs and chase cross-subsidy on an unsustainable basis.
“We endorse the funding bid set out by Universities Scotland, and hope a fair funding settlement will end the damaging cycle of restructures, redundancy threats and real terms pay cuts we have seen in recent years.”
Notes to editors
UNISON Scotland is the union for further and higher education staff. We represent members across the sector including cleaners, security staff, library workers and professional services staff.
You can view the letter here: https://www.unison-scotland.org/wp-content/uploads/Funding-Letter-Cabinet-Secretary-for-Finance-pdf.pdf
For further information contact:
John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish organiser and head of further education, 07904 342 426
Lorcan Mullen, UNISON head of higher education, on 07903 853 116
Chris Greenshields, further education branch secretary, 07957 366903