College returns to normal with victory called by EIS

College back to normal this week.

THE DISPUTE THAT has brought disruption to Moray College UHI in recent weeks is over thanks to intervention by the Scottish Government.

Agreement has been reached between the EIS and the College Employers’ Association, with union leaders declaring it a victory after the Colleges agreed to honour a deal reached in 2016.

The core of the dispute was that a pay agreement agreed at that time had not been implemented by employers. Staff were expected to continue their strike action this week – but that has now been called off, allowing all classes to return to normal.

The agreement followed intervention from Education Secretary John Swinney, with Larry Flanagan, the EIS General Secretary, saying: “Colleges Scotland have agreed to honour the deal. This is a significant victory and it means employers will move immediately to implement Phase 1 of the March 2016 pay agreement. As a result, all future planned strike action is suspended.”

Mr Swinney said that he was delighted the Scottish Government intervention helped to facilitate an agreement: “Having put in place arrangements to allow for national bargaining, it has always been the case that resolution of this issue lay in the hands of employers and the union.

“The immediate suspension of next week’s strike action will be very welcome news for students and the wider agreement reached will allow Scotland’s colleges to focus on delivering the high-quality education the sector is known for.”