28 February 2013
In Paisley, Scotland, Reid Kerr College EIS FELA (Further Education Lecturers Association) lecturers are on strike today and the college has cancelled classes. The strike is against a zero percent pay offer for this year a and next year which lecturers see as a clear provocation, but the struggle is also about lecturers’ terms and conditions under attack.
A rota had been set up to maintain 50 pickets at all times covering 4 gates and with lots of visitors and strong support from passing vehicles. We spoke with the very friendly and welcoming strikers, the Reid Kerr EIS Branch Sec John Kelly, as well as Ian Cochrane, the Branch Sec from James Watt College and Susan Quinn, EIS President. EIS members at James Watt College have been offered an £800 lump sum +2days holiday which they will vote on.
While we were on the picket line two Unison members, a technician and an admin worker, spoke to the strikers, refused to cross the picket line and eventually went home.
This strike may run and run. The strike ballot (70% turn out and 87% in favour) is for one day this week, 2 days strike next week from Tuesday, then 2 days the following week, then 3 days each week after that until June if they don’t get a deal.
Reid Kerr, Clydebank and James Watt Colleges are scheduled to merge on 1 August. Reid Kerr lecturers feel they are under attack because they have the best terms and conditions of the 3 colleges that are being amalgamated. For example Reid Kerr lecturers teach 22 hours/week while at Clydebank lecturers do 24 hours/week.
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