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College staff on the picket line

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
College staff on the picket line

SUPPORT staff at Dumfries and Galloway College joined nationwide industrial action on Tuesday.

And more action could be set to follow, after staff joined those from 19 other further education (FE) colleges to strike over pay increases.
UNISON’s Scottish organiser John Gallacher said: “Striking is a last resort, but we will support our members in every way possible to achieve the same fair and reasonable pay settlement as already paid out to teaching colleagues.”
College bosses awarded lecturing staff a £450 flat rate rise in May 2016, but most college support staff have been offered a flat rate of £230.
Support staff including administration, admissions, funding, catering, cleaning, advisors, security, classroom assistants, technicians and others are calling for fair pay and parity with their lecturing colleagues.
National industrial action follows negotiations which took place at the end of August, but which failed to reach a resolution.
Dumfries and Galloway College have addressed this week’s industrial action.
Principal Carol Turnbull said: “The reason for the action is in response to the recent national pay offer of £400 per full time equivalent earning below £22,000 per annum and £330 for staff earning above this level.
“This offer has been rejected by UNISON.”
She added: “The college was open as normal at both our Stranraer and Dumfries campus sites and courses ran as planned.”
However, UNISON’s Scottish organiser John Gallacher says 2500 members answered the union’s call for support.
And he said: “Taking strike action is a last resort for our members but we cannot rule out further strike action if college bosses fail to return to get back around the negotiating table.”


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