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Mass Edinburgh protest as teachers from all over Scotland descend on Holyrood

By Rachel Keenan

Protesters from colleges across Scotland joined together at Holyrood on Thursday morning to protest for a pay rise.

They have been rallying for this wage increase since June last year after Covid-19 affected many teaching environments across the country.

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Many colleges showed face to the protest including West College Scotland, City of Glasgow College, Newbattle Abbey College, Forth Valley College and New College Lanarkshire.

The rally was organised by the Educational Institute of Scotland’s Further Education Lecturers Association (EISFELA).

After six days of college strikes around Scotland EISFELA decided to move the strike to the Scottish Parliament hoping to successfully push a pay rise agreement from Colleges Employers Scotland.

David McDonald was at the rally with colleagues from West College Scotland. He said:

“The action we are taking today is a wage claim that we actually submitted last June. Colleges Employers Scotland have been reluctant to make any negotiations and what we have been offered is a one off payment instead of a wage rise.

“However, they have given themselves excessive pay rises.”

Hugh Cullen is a rep at Newbattle Abbey College. He said: “We’ve had a fantastic turn out on this strike and I believe this is because College Scotland has not given us anything in 10 years.

“We've been striking on and off for six years now and we’re here to ask for some respect within these negotiations.”

Colleges Employers Scotland is the body through which the Scottish Government’s Policy of National Bargaining is delivered and implemented by employers in the college sector.

In a statement released this morning the body claimed that strikes have been cancelled due to poor turnout.

Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland, said:

“Reducing the number of strike days shows the tactics of the EIS-FELA are failing, given the low turnout on the picket line last week.

“College employers have increased our offer throughout months of negotiations against a backdrop of huge financial challenges for Scotland’s colleges. Our offer of £1,050 will not change in the face of further strike action – this is more than teachers, police and officers have already accepted.

“Students do not deserve to have their learning disrupted at any time and colleges are doing everything they can to mitigate the impact of industrial action – we want students to finish this year successfully.

“College employers are more than happy to meet EIS-FELA again tomorrow to discuss this very good offer which remains on the table for thousands of lecturers across the country to have in their pockets now.”

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Dive Deeper:
Forth Valley College strike action cancelled for two days amid pay dispute
The next date for planned action is Thursday, May 12.
College congratulated on success
Fiona Hyslop MSP for Linlithgow Constituency and Angela Constance MSP for Almond Valley have congratulated the college on having the…
Teachers in Dundee and Glasgow vow to strike over principal teacher plans and 'violent' pupil behaviour
Faculty heads are set to replace specialist principal teachers while several violent incidents have been recorded since pupils returned after…
Striking while the election iron is hot
Recent industrial action by Australian frontline workers pushing for wage increases has been linked to pent up frustration and the…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Teachers in two Scots cities vow to strike over 'violent' pupil behaviour
Several violent incidents have been recorded since pupils returned after the Easter break last month.
Rising student debt to worsen money woes of young Britons
London (AFP) - Rhiannon Muise graduated from Edge Hill University in northwest England last year with a mountain of student debt,…
Get all your news in one place