Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for lecturers in further education colleges across Scotland.

Commenting on the ballot for industrial action in support of fair pay, Scottish Labour Opportunity spokesperson Iain Gray said:

“No one wants to see industrial action but the SNP’s record on colleges has been abysmal. The promise the SNP Government made to Scotland’s lecturers was national pay scales. Now SNP ministers have waked away from that promise and left colleges without the money to deliver it.

Under the SNP government there are 152,000 fewer students and 3,500 fewer lecturers in Scotland’s colleges whilst they have had to spend £90 million of scarce resources making staff redundant.

Cuts from the SNP budget for the next year will only make this worse. This week Scottish Labour took a simple pledge to the Scottish Parliament – that education should be protected in real terms over the next five years. The SNP voted against our plans.

Faced with the choice of more cuts to education or using the powers of the Scottish Parliament Labour would use the powers and set the Scottish rate of income tax 1 penny higher than George Osborne to stop these cuts.

Scotland’s colleges should be the envy of the world. Everyone, regardless of postcode or privilege, should be able to access the skills they need to get on in life and a thriving further education sector is an absolutely essential part of that.”