Scottish FE lecturers vote for industrial action

Most FE lecturers balloted in Scotland vote for industrial action over the replacement of lecturers with instructors
15th December 2020, 5:01pm
Kate Parker

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Scottish FE lecturers vote for industrial action

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/scottish-fe-lecturers-vote-industrial-action
Colleges: Scottish Fe Lecturers Have Voted For Industrial Action Over A Plan To Replace Lecturers With Instructors & Other Support Staff

Further education lecturers in Scotland have voted to take industrial action against the replacement of lecturers with instructors and other support staff grades. 

The EIS teaching union initiated a national dispute on the plans to replace staff, and today, in a ballot with a turnout of 72 per cent, 93 per cent of lecturers voted strongly in favour of industrial action short of strike action, and 83 per cent voted for strike action. 


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Charlie Montgomery, EIS-FELA (Further Education Lecturers' Association) president, said: "With FE set to play an important part in Scotland's recovery from Covid-19, it is in the interests of the students and the wider community that a professional education service is maintained. We hope that Colleges Scotland will now enter into urgent talks to resolve this pressing matter."

Anger over the replacement of college lecturers with instructors

Most Scottish FE lecturers have a teaching qualification and many have recently begun a mandatory professional registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Support staff, however, require no professional training or registration and the EIS said that this would lead to the quality of education delivered deteriorating.

A spokesperson for Colleges Scotland said: "It is disappointing that the EIS-FELA has balloted its members to ask them to consider industrial action in the midst of a global pandemic that has disrupted education, and severely impacted the economy and employment prospects for many people across Scotland.

"The EIS-FELA is well aware that instructor/tutor/assessor positions are not new roles and have been in place within the sector for a considerable number of years. The EIS-FELA is attempting to take its members down the route of industrial action yet again, at a time when large numbers of people in other sectors are facing job losses and pay restrictions. 

"Colleges use a variety of different learning and teaching methods designed to deliver a diverse curriculum which best supports the needs of the learner and is appropriate for the specific subject."

The spokesperson added: "Both support staff and lecturing staff are equally valuable and necessary for the effective running of colleges, and the sector will play a key role in supporting Scotland's economic recovery by supporting the tens of thousands of people who are going to have to change career, reskill and upskill to find new jobs."

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