Representatives for the college sector have welcomed an agreement reached in principle with the Educational Institute of Scotland Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) following the 20th dispute resolution meeting on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 in Glasgow.

Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association will meet on Wednesday, 5 June 2019 to determine whether to ratify the terms of the pay, terms and conditions deal, while the EIS-FELA Executive will ballot its members with a recommendation to accept.

Under the terms of the agreement in principle, all lecturers will receive £400 unconsolidated and £1,500 consolidated – covering a period of three years and five months – and on the terms and conditions, there is clarification on discretionary time and observation of learning, which continues the professionalism of the college sector.

The deal runs from 1 April 2017 to 31 August 2020, bringing the pay period for lecturers into line with support staff workers, but the additional £17.5 million cost of the deal will all have to be met by colleges making cuts and places the sector under further financial pressure.

Colleges have urged the EIS-FELA to immediately suspend action short of strike action pending the result of their ballot.

Commenting, Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:“We welcome this agreement in principle on pay, terms and conditions with the EIS-FELA, which will hopefully bring this protracted dispute to an end, and we are asking the EIS-FELA to immediately suspend their action short of strike action pending the result of their members’ ballot.

“Colleges’ improved offer to the EIS-FELA puts £1,900 more into every lecturers’ pocket in return for agreement on terms and conditions, and is in addition to the substantial financial gains for most lecturers from the harmonisation deal already agreed.

“In return for almost £2000 more, colleges are offering industry-standard, flexible working arrangements for the end of automatically guaranteed discretionary time in colleges where it still exists.  It is perfectly reasonable to expect employees to be at their place of work unless they have spoken with and have agreement from their line managers.

“Also contained within the agreement on terms and conditions is an understanding that it is mutually beneficial for colleges and lecturers to have observation of learning to increase attainment, which continues the professionalism of the sector."