Time for college lecturing staff to settle their pay dispute
By Democrat reporter
Scotland’s college lecturers were on strike again yesterday and demonstrating outside the Scottish Parliament as their grievances were discussed inside the building.
Labour MSP Iain Gray told Nicola Sturgeon: “All they want is a fair cost-of-living pay increase in line with public pay policy, something that they have been denied for three years now.
“Their employers remain intransigent and determined to conflate this claim with the quite separate introduction of national pay scales.
“Will the First Minister intervene now and get the colleges to agree a fair settlement? If not, will she come out with me after First Minister’s questions and explain why not to the lecturers’ faces?”
But the First Minister wasn’t for it. She told Mr Gray: “It always amazes me the number of times that Labour members—proud trade unionists—get up in this chamber and ask me to intervene in national bargaining between employers and trade unions.
“I want to see the dispute resolved. It is deeply disappointing that talks have not managed to build on the positive progress that has been made over the past few weeks, and I appeal to both sides to get round and stay round the table in order to resolve the issue.”
She added that the Scottish Government was funding in full the additional costs of harmonising pay terms and conditions, which is around £100 million over three years, and we are also investing heavily in Scotland’s colleges.
“I say to the employers as well as the trade unions—but let me focus on the employers here—that we all want to see this resolved, and I hope that it is resolved sooner rather than later. However, it is the responsibility of those involved in national bargaining to reach that resolution.”