College staff considering strike over pay deal

UNISON will ballot its members on strike action.
UNISON will ballot its members on strike action.

Scotland’s college support staff are to be consulted on strike action after UNISON Scotland said college bosses had failed to deliver a fair pay deal.

They have been offered £230 in comparison to the £450 settlement already paid out to teaching colleagues.

National negotiations broke down last week and the union will now ballot its members on the issue. The move follows recent industrial action by EIS and FELA members in Scotland’s 26 colleges by teaching staff and a two-year deal for teaching staff.

Chris Greenshields, chairman of UNISON Scotland in further education, said: “Our demand is simple and fair. As a minimum our members should receive parity with our teaching colleagues in the EIS. There should be equality of treatment for workers in the same sector, within the same national bargaining machinery and with the same local employers.

“There is no reason for anything short of equal treatment. The employers reportedly worked through the night to reach a deal with the EIS. Support staff in colleges deserve better, all we are asking for is to be treated fairly.”

Shirley Sephton, vice-chairman, added: “Our members deliver key support services to colleges and students including finance, admissions, bursary services and estates. We would not wish to see these services disrupted by industrial action during 2016.”