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College lecturers 'overwhelmingly' accept new pay offer

Lecturers had taken several days of strike action in a bid to force an agreement.

Lecturers held protests during strike days.
Lecturers held protests during strike days. STV

College lecturers have "overwhelmingly" accepted a new pay offer, bringing strike action to an end.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland Further Education Lecturers' Association (EIS-FELA) voted by 88% in favour of the deal in a ballot that closed on Monday afternoon.

The union had recommended lecturers to accept the offer.

It will see lecturers receive £400 unconsolidated and £1500 consolidated over a period of three years and five months, with clarification on discretionary time and observation of learning.

The deal is backdated to April 1 2017 and runs to August 31, 2020, with the additional £17.5m cost said to require colleges to make cuts.

Lecturers staged several days of walkouts this year in a call for a cost-of-living increase in pay.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said it was welcome that a resolution to the long-running dispute had now been reached.

"Scotland's lecturers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the improved pay offer, bringing an end to a long-running dispute within the college sector," he said.

"The EIS hopes that the settlement of this dispute will allow for a period of stability within Scotland's colleges. It is regrettable that lecturers were forced into taking six days of strike action to secure a fair cost-of-living pay settlement.

"Nevertheless, it is very welcome that a resolution has been reached."

Shona Struthers, of the Colleges Scotland Employers' Association, said: "We very much welcome this agreement which ends the EIS-FELA's industrial action and restores some stability to the sector.

"We are especially pleased for the students who have been adversely affected by the EIS-FELA's strike action and its action short of strike action."

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