College employers have hit back at lecturers who were on strike at Lews Castle College and other colleges yesterday (Wednesday January 16th), claiming some staff have already been awarded pay rises totalling almost £20,000.

The protest is one of a series being organised by the Educational Institute of Scotland Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA).

John Gribben, Director of Employment Services at Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:  “We have met the EIS-FELA on eight occasions to discuss pay and will be meeting them again on January 24 when we will urge them to suspend their disruptive strike action.

“The EIS-FELA must realise that colleges are already having to make cuts to finance the additional pay offer which they have rejected and that their unreasonable pay demands would mean fewer courses, fewer students, and fewer lecturing jobs in the college sector.

“The pay harmonisation already agreed and colleges’ additional pay offer for the 2017-20 three-year period are providing substantial increases to most lecturers with an average pay rise of well over £4,000 and delivering improved terms and conditions for all lecturers, including 62 days’ holiday a year, a reduction in student contact to 23 hours a week, and excellent career average pensions.

“The minimum pay increase any lecturer in Scotland will receive is £2,600, while some are getting huge increases of almost £20,000. 

"We urge the EIS-FELA to suspend their disruptive strike action which hits students the hardest and, for the first time in this process, seriously engage with colleges and recognise how incredibly generous this overall package is.”