Col­lege strike ac­tion sus­pended fol­low­ing break­through talks

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

Strike ac­tion by Scot­tish col­lege lec­tur­ers has been sus­pended fol­low­ing a break­through in talks.

Aca­demics had been tak­ing part in a se­ries of strikes in re­cent weeks over sev­eral is­sues, in­clud­ing pay in­equal­ity and hours.

How­ever, teach­ing union the EIS and the Col­leges Scot­land Em­ploy­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents col­leges across the coun­try, con­firmed last night that a deal had been reached that would see the im­me­di­ate ces­sa­tion of in­dus­trial ac­tion.

A joint state­ment is­sued by the bod­ies said: “Fol­low­ing a pe­riod of in­ten­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions, agree­ment has been reached be­tween the em­ploy­ers and the EIS.

“This has led to the im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion of strike ac­tion by the EIS and will en­able col­lege man­age­ment to im­ple­ment the March 2016 agree­ment.

“Af­ter the meet­ing, Col­leges Scot­land and the EIS wel­comed this break­through and are de­lighted that dis­rup­tion to stu­dent learn­ing has been brought to an end. Both sides ex­pressed the hope that this would pro­vide a sound foun­da­tion for the col­lege sec­tor mov­ing for­ward.”

Yes­ter­day’s agree­ment comes af­ter lec­tur­ers had threat­ened to stage three days of in­dus­trial ac­tion next week.

The dis­pute was sparked over claims that col­leges had re­neged on a pay agree­ment made last year, with lec­tur­ers say­ing that the full terms had not yet been im­ple­mented.

How­ever, the teach­ers had been crit­i­cised for the tim­ing of the dis­pute, with thousands of stu­dents across the coun­try sit­ting their end of year ex­ams.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment had ap­pointed a me­di­a­tor, but had in­sisted that it would not im­pose a set­tle­ment.

How­ever, yes­ter­day’s deal has been achieved with the Col­leges Scot­land Em­ploy­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion con­firm­ing that last year’s deal will be hon­oured in full.

A spokesper­son added: “We are pleased that we’ve reached an agree­ment, sub­ject to rat­i­fi­ca­tion, which not only means an end to the strikes but also, cru­cially, en­sures that col­leges can re­turn to busi­ness as usual.

“This is a pos­i­tive step for­ward for ev­ery­one in­volved.”

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