Scottish further education workers win battle for pay fairness

Months of campaigning and industrial action win improved pay offer for FE workers which matches that of lecturers

Further education members in Scotland have won an improved pay rise after a sustained campaign including industrial action.

Scottish FE college staff in administration, admissions, funding, catering, cleaning, welfare and security, as well as teaching assistants, will now receive a £450 flat rate rise for 2016-17, backdated to April 2016.

This follows a months-long campaign, including strike days and action short of a strike, which culminated in a negotiating meeting yesterday at which the employers’ association, Colleges Scotland, accepted that staff deserved the same flat-rate increase as their lecturer colleagues.

The support staff had rejected the employers’ first offer of £230 a year – just over half the £450 awarded to teaching staff.

The agreement reached yesterday also includes consolidation of a previous £100 payment from April 2017.

That will bring the total increase for the 2016-17 pay round to £550 for all further education employees in Scotland.

UNISON Scottish organiser John Gallacher praised UNISON’s members in Scotland’s FE colleges, who “have stood together and stood strong”.

“We are delighted that the employers have finally negotiated a pay offer that is fair for all hard-working college employees,” he added.