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EIS calls for national review

THE Educational Institute of Scotland is pressing for a review of FE staffing, including negotiating arrangements and what the union regards as the "growing disparity" in salaries. It hopes the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee will take the lead.

Allan Wilson, senior Labour backbencher on the committee and a former union official, told the Association of Scottish Colleges in June he was "unhappy" at the abolition of collective bargaining for core pay and conditions. He added that he expected the issue would receive "a democratic airing" in the near future.

David Davidson, the Tories' deputy spokespersn on industry, told the same ASC meeting that there should be a review of salaries but added: "College managements must retain flexibility."

Other sectors have seen national bargaining get the thumbs-up in recent months, leaving FE looking out of step. The Bett committee's UK-wide inquiry into pay levels in higher education recommended it and the McCrone committee's report on pay in Scottish schools emphatically rejected the notion of local bargaining.

The report recommended a mix of local and national bargaining, allowing scope for local agreements but establishing national consistency on pay levels and core conditions.

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