College lecturers strike deal over ongoing pay dispute
Teaching staff have been on strike over a pay deal that was yet to be implemented.
College lecturers have agreed on a deal over a long-running pay strike.
It is understood college management will honour a pay deal which was reached more than a year ago. It means planned strike action for next week and beyond has been called off.
It is believed the new agreement would give lecturers 23 teaching hours oout of a 35 hour working week as well as a nine per cent pay rise.
Education Secretary John Swinney intervened in the dispute, appointing John Sturrock QC to act as a mediator.
While an agreement was reached, Colleges Scotland said further arrangements will have to be made before the changes could be implemented.
Joint Statement by EIS and College Scotland said: "Following a period of intensive negotiations, agreement has been reached between the employers and the EIS.
"This has led to the immediate suspension of strike action by the EIS and will enable college management to implement the March 2016 Agreement.
"After the meeting, Colleges Scotland and the EIS welcomed this breakthrough and are delighted that disruption to student learning has been brought to an end. Both sides expressed the hope that this would provide a sound foundation for the college sector moving forward."
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "I am delighted that the intervention made by the Scottish Government over the last week has helped to facilitate an agreement to end the dispute between the EIS and the College Employers' Association.
"Having put in place arrangements to allow for national bargaining, it has always been the case that resolution of this issue lay in the hands of employers and the union.
"The immediate suspension of next week's strike action will be very welcome news for students and the wider agreement reached today will allow Scotland's colleges to focus on delivering the high-quality education the sector is known for."
Scottish Labour's further education spokeswoman Monica Lennon MSP said: "We welcome the commitment by Colleges Scotland to honour the March 2016 agreement.
"This will be a massive relief to lecturers and students right across Scotland.
"The Government should be apologising for the fact it has taken so long for the promise that SNP ministers made six years ago to only now begin to be delivered."