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7 August 2016, 07:14
A second national strike in Scottish colleges is very likely, according to Unison.
The trade union, the second largest in the UK with 1.3 million members is recommending staff vote yes for strike action following disputes over pay.
A national ballot will conclude on August 16 and if there is a "yes'' vote, 2,300 Unison support staff members from colleges will begin strike action just as students enrol for autumn courses.
Unison members are "furious'' that lecturing staff have been awarded a £450 flat rate pay rise while college support staff were only offered a flat rate of £230, their leaders warned.
Chris Greenshields, chairman of Unison's further education committee, said: "Our demand is simple and fair. Pay college support staff the same amount (£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.''
Lecturing staff at colleges across Scotland went on strike for a day in March earlier this year which centred on disputes over pay and led to the £450 settlement.
John Gallacher, Scottish organiser for Unison, 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.
"There are huge pay and conditions discrepancies and unfairness across the 26 colleges.
"Different rates of pay for the same job, different holidays and more.
"The Scottish Government needs to give additional funding to this deprived sector as they promised in the last Scottish Parliament elections.''