Strike action by college lecturers planned for this week has been suspended as negotiations continue.
Education Institute of Scotland – EIS-FELA (Further Education Lecturers’ Association) members had already carried out two days of walk outs which saw staff at Fife, Dundee and Angus Colleges, as well as colleagues at Perth UHI, join others from across Scotland in the national protest.
However, lecturers have suspended this week’s action after positive talks between union EIS-FELA and Colleges Scotland.
A further nine days of industrial action is still threatened in the coming weeks, however, unless an outright deal can be found.
Why are lecturers striking?
The strike, which began at Fife College and has since escalated, centres around a dispute over claims retiring lecturers are being replaced by less qualified lower paid assessors.
Picket lines were formed at campuses across the region last week as negotiations between the two sides reached a stalemate.
Following negotiations between EIS-FELA representatives and employers organisation, Colleges Scotland, which continued throughout last week, an agreement has been made to halt forthcoming strike action on April 27 and 28 to allow for further discussions.
Authorities pleased over strike cancellation
News that lecturers have suspended strike action has been welcomed by Colleges Scotland.
A spokesperson for Colleges Scotland, said: “Following lengthy and productive discussions, good progress was made and a consensus position reached which both sides are taking to their respective memberships.
“As a result of the position reached, the strike action planned for Tuesday April 27 and Wednesday 28 April has been suspended.
“The suspension is good news for students and staff.”
In an email to members, EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Negotiations at the National Joint Negotiating Committee concluded a short time ago with agreement reached between your national negotiators and Colleges Scotland.
“Two days of national strike action have been suspended next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, to afford both sides to take the agreement to their respective bodies for ratification.
“This will require an emergency EIS-FELA executive committee to be convened early next week.”