The County You Live, Work And Play

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New College Lanarkshire Picket Line


06/09/16































Workers at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell campus were among the 2300 UNISON support workers on the picket line Tuesday 6th September calling for fair pay.

College support staff - administration, admissions, funding, catering, cleaning, advisors, security, classroom assistants, technicians and others voted overwhelmingly for action to demand the same £450-a-year pay rise given to lecturers.

Most of the members have only been offered £230.

UNISON took part in national negotiations on August 25 but Further Education bosses failed to bring anything new to the table after earlier talks in the new Scottish-wide bargaining forum had failed. The other support staff trade unions are supporting the campaign and strikes will now follow.


John Gallacher, UNISON’s Scottish organiser, 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.

“In a sector which sees top principals paid close to the salary of the Scottish First Minister, we should not be fighting over the difference between £230 and £450 for some 2,500 staff. UNISON has written to every principal and every MSP in a last ditch attempt to avoid this unnecessary and damaging dispute.”


Shirley Sephton, vice chair of UNISON’s further education committee, said: “The colleges should use a small portion of the extra £8.1 million given to the sector this year to address operational pressures to resolve this dispute before things get worse. Recent surveys of our membership have shown real low morale in support staff. We have been through a difficult merger process and we can’t allow a two-tier system to develop. The failure of the employers to deliver a fair and equitable pay award is a further kick in the teeth to overworked and underpaid college support staff. High student dropout rates recently reported will not be helped by alienating key support staff.”


Chris Greenshields, chairman of UNISON’s further education committee, said: “Our demand is simple and fair. Pay college support staff the same flat rate rise (£450) that you gave to our teaching colleagues. We work for the same colleges, help deliver the same courses, support the same students and deserve the same cost of living increase.”


A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association said: “Their members are already getting a good deal which exceeds public sector pay and which is comparable to the deal already accepted by lecturers.

“Many Unison members received above inflation pay rises earlier this year, on top of a reduction in working hours and additional holiday leave.”