College Strikes Called Off

19 March 2016, 10:36 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Further planned strikes at Scotland's colleges have been suspended following a breakthrough in pay negotiations.

Colleges Scotland and the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union reached a draft deal in the early hours of Saturday morning after 12 hours of talks.

The agreement comes after college lecturers across Scotland went on strike on Thursday in a long-running dispute over pay.

They said the row was about equal pay, claiming there were wide differences in pay between different colleges for doing the same job.

The one-day walkout was set to be followed by two days of action next week and the union was threatening to escalate action in the run-up to summer if no resolution was reached. A total of 32 days of industrial action was planned.

But on Saturday, Colleges Scotland said it and the EIS were pleased to announce a draft pay agreement has been reached.

The deal will now be sent out to the union's Further Education Lecturers' Association (FELA) executive for consideration, with a recommendation from negotiators that it be accepted.

Colleges Scotland said the draft agreement was made after 12 hours of talks ending at 3am and will lead to the suspension of industrial action.

Its chief executive, Shona Struthers, said: "The management side has worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome which will see an end to any further disruption to students and start to address harmonisation of terms and conditions for college lecturers.''

Charlie Montgomery, salaries convener at EIS-FELA, said: "We are pleased to have made this breakthrough in the early hours that will set a sound foundation going forward.''