MSP welcomes intervention in college strikes

Thursday May 18th 2017

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Local MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will appoint John Sturrock QC, an experienced mediator, to try to resolve the current impasse between lecturers’ EIS union and colleges. The dispute arose during the national bargaining process to bring all college staff’s pay and conditions to the same level Scotland-wide, when the union and the colleges disputed a number of points around teaching hours, annual leave and whether pay should be tied to conditions in the bargaining.

Although John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Education called on unions to call off their proposed 3 day strikes during mediation, this has been rejected by the EIS.

Commenting, Ms Grahame said:

“I’ve been contacted by a number of both students and college lecturers at Borders College who are deeply concerned by the ongoing situation. Clearly lecturers would rather be teaching than striking.

“I therefore welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s decision to appoint John Sturrock QC to mediate discussions between employers and the unions to find a way forward. It’s important that a resolution between the two sides is not forced or imposed, it must be reached mutually which is why mediation has been put in place and I hope it will be successful.

“I’ve spoken to a group to Borders lecturers this morning about their concerns and am meeting with them on Friday to discuss this in more detail. I’ll be raising further issues regarding their position with John Swinney and I’ll also be meeting Angela Cox the principal of Borders College on Monday.”

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