UNISON members across Scotland’s 20 further education colleges will take strike action on Tuesday 6 September, the union announced today.
“Striking is a last resort, but we will support our members in every way possible to achieve the same fair and reasonable pay settlement as already paid out to teaching colleagues,” UNISON Scotland organiser John Gallacher said as he announced the strike date.
Teaching staff received a flat-rate rise of £450 in May, but most support staff have been offered just a £230-a-year flat rate increase.
Now workers in administration, admissions, funding, catering, cleaning, advice and security, together with classroom assistants, technicians and other support workers, will stage the country’s first national strike in the sector next week as they seek fair pay and parity with their lecturer colleagues.
“In a sector which sees top principals paid close to the salary of the Scottish first minister, we should not be fighting over the difference between £230 and £450 for some 2,500 staff,” added Mr Gallacher.
“UNISON has written to every principal and every MSP in a last-ditch attempt to avoid this unnecessary and damaging dispute.”
Today’s announcement follows talks at a national negotiation meeting last Thursday (25 August) at which, says UNISON, college employers brought nothing new to the table following the earlier collapse of talks in the new Scottish-wide bargaining forum.