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Students at Lews Castle College showed solidarity with lecturers by joining their picket line in Stornoway today.

Teaching staff are on strike in an ongoing dispute. They say college management has failed to honour a deal on pay and conditions.

An agreement reached last year promised equal pay for lecturers in all colleges and national terms and conditions, following years of pay inequity for lecturers doing the same jobs in different colleges across Scotland.

This is the fourth day of national industrial action in Scotland and further strikes are planned for next week.

Some eight lecturers have joined the EIS union since the strikes started two weeks ago.

Billy Mackinnon, union representative at the castle college said: “The strike is getting stronger. People are really, really angry at management’s intransigence. There is no movement at all from management and we will be here for as long as it takes to honour the deal.   













Local EIS official, Donnie Macdonald, said the strike in Lews Castle College is “rock solid.”

He stated: “All union members came out on strike. Union membership has grown here - because they understand who is looking after their interest. They realise that is what the trade union is for. This has particularly strengthened the trade union here.

“Nationally, everybody is angry, frustrated and dismayed at management’s refusal to honour the agreement they entered into.”

Mr Macdonald emphasised lecturers are “livid” over bosses’ claims that staff want more money for less work.

He stated: “That is not the case.” The reality is “actually the opposite” as the teaching year may be extended, he said.

“We are calling on the Scottish Government to ensure (employers’ body) Colleges Scotland honour the agreement they voluntarily signed up to last year.”

He slammed management for “trying to unravel the deal transmitting disingenuous and dishonest statements.”

Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association has said harmonisation of pay and conditions is a “complex process that requires compromise, not strikes and disruption.”

A spokesperson was hopeful of finding a resolution as “both parties believe that we have made progress” during negotiations this week.

Talks between both sides are taking place today and on Friday.



Students backed lecturers for striking

Lews Castle students support lecturers in industrial dispute

11 May 2017