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A fifth week of strike action by lecturers at Lews Castle College has been suspended after a deadlock in negotiations was broken.

 

Lecturers' union, EIS, and the employers body, Colleges Scotland, agreed a deal whereby the money owed to teaching staff would finally be paid.

 

Lecturers in the Western Isles are paid less than colleagues in similar roles in some mainland colleges but an agreement to equalise pay and conditions made over a year ago was never implemented by bosses.

 

Harmonisation of salary plus national terms and conditions was promised following years of pay inequity for lecturers doing the same jobs in different colleges across Scotland.

 

Donald Macdonald, Lews Castle College branch convener, expressed his relief that the industrial action was over.

 

He said: "Our members are glad that Colleges Scotland have finally agreed to honour the agreement reached in March 2016.

 

“Students and lecturers alike will be pleased that the strike is suspended.

 

“While some details are the subject of ongoing negotiations, we now look forward to getting back to work without interruption.”

 

Branch secretary, Billy Mackinnon, stated: "This strike should never have had to happen.

 

“Colleges Scotland's failure to honour the agreement has caused immense distress to students.

 

“We're very grateful that students all over Scotland were fully supportive of the action lecturers took over the four weeks of industrial action.”

 

A joint statement from both sides said: “Following a period of intensive negotiations, agreement has been reached between the employers and the EIS.

 

“This has led to the immediate suspension of strike action by the EIS and will enable college management to implement the March 2016 agreement.”

 

College strike suspended after breakthrough in talks

21 May 2017