Staff from Scotland’s Rural University Colleges (SRUC) across the country commenced industrial action on Thursday in a long-running dispute over pay and grading.
Future strike days are planned, together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said that the strike action demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst EIS members at SRUC.
He said: “Pay for lecturers at SRUC has fallen significantly behind the norms across both the Further and Higher education sectors, and the pay offer made to our members was also completely inadequate.
“It is time for management at SRUC to stop dragging their feet and commit to paying their lecturers fairly for the vital work that they do.”
The pay offer would have resulted in sub-inflation pay awards for the majority of EIS members, with SRUC staff already being paid ‘significantly’ less than lecturers in other institutions. The offer was swiftly rejected by the EIS.
Mr Flanagan added: “Lecturers at SRUC are not taking strike action lightly, and have displayed great patience while awaiting a fair pay agreement.
“After many years of dither and delay, SRUC management have – at the eleventh hour – finally come back with an offer to take forward a pay and grading review by Autumn 2023.
“This ‘offer’ from the employer is far too little and far too late – it is clearly a belated attempt to head off strike action but comes with so many missing elements and unknowns for members that it is essentially meaningless.”