Covid-19: Union protests against college plans via Zoom

Lecturers will take part in a protest via video platform Zoom against staff restructuring plans at Forth Valley College

Kate Parker

Coronavirus: Union set to hold online demonstration against restructuring plans at Forth Valley College

The biggest teaching union in Scotland is set to hold an online demonstration against a college’s staff restructuring plans. 

The protest event, hosted by the EIS-FELA union, is being held on online platform Zoom to comply with the current Covid-19 guidance on social distancing and will include speeches and photo opportunities. 

The EIS has condemned college leadership at Forth Valley College for continuing a process that it says would see affected lecturers having to choose between voluntary severance or a role as an instructor.


Background: College lecturers 'under threat from teacher-assessors'

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More: Scottish colleges call for more support


The EIS-FELA branch at Forth Valley College says staff unsuccessful in getting voluntary severance or securing a new role would be made redundant, and successful staff could be told they were not suitable after a four-week trial period – and subsequently made redundant. 

However, a spokesperson for the college has said all posts at risk have either been successful in their application for the voluntary severance scheme or will be offered either a lecturer post or the new instructor assessor post with conserved salary for four years.

Protest against college restructuring

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said that it was “shocking that management at Forth Valley College is seeking to make lecturing staff redundant during the global Covid-19 pandemic”.

He added: ”It is completely indefensible that the college is seeking to make hard-working lecturing staff redundant during this crisis. I would urge EIS members to join the online demo in support of these lecturers, to force Forth Valley College to rethink its actions.”

The online demonstration will include speeches from Mr Flanagan, as well as local and national EIS-FELA representatives. 

A spokesperson for Forth Valley College said: “From the beginning of the consultation process, which commenced in November 2019, we have always aimed to retain as many staff as possible. All posts at risk have either been successful in their application for the voluntary severance scheme or will be offered either a lecturer post or the new instructor assessor post with conserved salary for four years.

“We are fully committed to ensuring all those at risk secure a role within the organisation and we are confident that there will be no one without the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to successfully undertake the new role we are introducing."

The demonstration will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 1 April. Further information can be found at www.eis.org.uk/FELA/ForthValley

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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