College lecturers in Tayside and Fife could be set to walk out over pay after a call to action today.
The EIS union is calling on members to vote yes for industrial action as part of a national campaign for fair pay.
The action would affect further education lecturers calling for equal pay in colleges across the country.
The postal ballot opened today and will continue until March 4.
An EIS spokesman said: “Statutory industrial action notices have been issued to the colleges covered by the national dispute, including Dundee and Angus.
“The postal industrial action ballot is scheduled to open on Friday of this week, and will run until March 4.
“The EIS is urging members to vote ‘Yes’ for industrial action in support of our campaign for fair pay for all FE lecturers.”
A Dundee and Angus College spokesman said it was hoped that any possible action would not cause a disruption to classes.
He said: “We certainly hope that classes will go on as normal and we will do our best to make sure there’s no disruption.”
A Fife College spokesman explained that the college “must live within their means” and they would regret any industrial action by staff.
He explained: “Fife College supports the EIS in their campaign for fairer pay for college staff and is a party to a national pay bargaining agreement the college entered this on the specific condition that any pay offers were affordable.
“The college would, however, regret any industrial action by staff as this would, of course, have a serious impact on our students.
“We would point out, that any changes to pay operates against the background of a £5 million cut in the college’s budget over recent years and continued pressures on funding in the sector as a whole.
“In simple terms we must live within our means and it is difficult to see without an increase in future Government funding how this issue can be resolved.”
An initial ballot completed by 55% of the union’s members nationally revealed 95% were in favour of action.
The move came after the union rejected a 1% pay award last November.
EIS-FELA president John Kelly said: “There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have equal pay in colleges the length and breadth of the country.
“We in the EIS and EIS-FELA are committed to national bargaining.
“College management, however, have done little to deliver national bargaining with a lengthy drawn-out negotiating process and an unrealistic and unreasonable pay offer.”