Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, today raised the EIS strike - going into its fourth day today - with Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister’s Question Time. 

Commenting afterwards, Ms Grant said: “The college lecturers are being forced to strike for a fourth day today, due to the dispute brought about by the Scottish Government’s pledge to harmonise pay and conditions in the college sector following the mergers of many colleges across the country.

“After weeks of negotiating between Colleges Scotland and EIS, the terms being put forward are completely unreasonable and don’t take into account the hard work the lecturers are already doing – so much of which is not being negotiated. The Scottish Government have confirmed that the money has been made available but Colleges Scotland are still refusing to acknowledge the already unmanageable workload of lecturers."

She added: "All the lecturers want is fair terms and conditions, acknowledging the extremely, and increasingly, challenging job. They do not want to be on strike, they want to be working hard for the students, but they have been forced into this by a poor negotiating team for Colleges Scotland, and a denial of responsibility from the Scottish Government.

“National bargaining only works when both sides understand the issues but the reports from the negotiations so far is that Colleges Scotland have sent in a team who have no awareness at all about what lecturers are campaigning for.

“This has gone on long enough. Today, all I got was more excuses from the First Minister.”