Created on: 29 Sep 2021 | Last modified: 29 Sep 2021
Lecturing staff at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) will commence a programme of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and grading.
Members will take their first day of strike action today, with further strike days planned together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The fact that this strike action is commencing today demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst EIS members at SRUC.
"Pay for lecturers at SRUC has fallen significantly behind the norms across both the Further and Higher education sectors, and the pay offer made to our members was also completely inadequate. It is time for management at SRUC to stop dragging their feet and commit to paying their lecturers fairly for the vital work that they do."
The pay offer made by SRUC management would have resulted in sub-inflation pay awards for the majority of EIS members. With SRUC staff already being paid significantly less than FE and HE lecturers in other institutions, the offer was swiftly rejected by the EIS.
Mr Flanagan added, "Lecturers at SRUC are not taking strike action lightly, and have displayed great patience while awaiting a fair pay agreement. After many years of dither and delay, SRUC management have – at the eleventh hour – finally come back with an offer to take forward a pay and grading review by Autumn 2023.
"This ‘offer’ from the employer is far too little and far too late – it is clearly a belated attempt to head off strike action but comes with so many missing elements and unknowns for members that it is essentially meaningless."
A recent EIS statutory ballot provided a clear legal mandate for a move to industrial action, including strike action. Support for industrial action short of strike was extremely strong (93% of those voting) and support for strike action was also very strong (86%). Turnout in the ballot was 65%, well above the legal minimum turnout set by the UK government’s trade union law restrictions.
As such, the EIS anticipates very strong support for today’s strike action from lecturing staff at SRUC.
Picket lines will be in place at all SRUC campuses this morning (Thursday), and an online rally will be held at 1.15pm today (Thursday) and live-streamed on the EIS Facebook page. Full strike info available here.