Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

College board votes plan withhold pay boycotting staff

College leaders decide to deem staff participating in EIS-FELA's ASOS, but some colleges back away amid controversy and legal concerns.

At a recent meeting of college principals in February, a decision was made to consider staff members participating in industrial action short of a strike (ASOS) conducted by EIS-FELA, the lecturers' union.

In an effort to push employers to agree to the terms of a new pay deal, EIS-FELA members decided to implement a results boycott earlier this year. This form of ASOS involves lecturers continuing to teach, mark, and complete their work but refusing to input student results into official systems.

The concept of deeming staff members who participate in the boycott quickly sparked controversy, with some colleges initially announcing plans to deduct 100% of pay from those involved. Other colleges opted for a percentage deduction.

Through Freedom of Information requests, it was revealed that college leaders received legal advice on their deeming plans during the February meeting, although many details remain redacted.

MSP Graeme Dey, the minister for further and higher education, has acknowledged that employers have the legal right to withhold pay during the boycott. However, he has also called for an end to the boycott and the threats of deeming.

Many lecturers and EIS-FELA members were not informed of the decision to vote against deeming until demonstrators marched through Glasgow to protest outside local MSP offices. Frances Curry, a lecturer and picket organiser, highlighted the complexities of withholding pay during a results boycott, noting that not all lecturers have the same responsibilities.

Despite the decision to vote against deeming at Glasgow Kelvin College, negotiations for a new pay agreement remain deadlocked, with talks continuing between employers and staff unions.

Debra Wark, a staff member at Glasgow Kelvin, mentioned plans to picket daily until summer, with demonstrators marching through Glasgow to voice their concerns to MSPs. MSP John Mason expressed concerns about increasing funding for colleges, suggesting that any additional money would require cuts to other services.

Lecturers across the country have been staging picket lines and demonstrations in recent weeks, including a demonstration in front of Holyrood on Thursday. The ongoing negotiations and disputes highlight the challenges faced by both employers and staff in the education sector.

Share With Others

Comments on College board votes plan withhold pay boycotting staff