Support staff in colleges across Scotland will go on strike next Tuesday 6th September in a dispute over pay. Despite Colleges Scotland promising a return to national bargaining and an equal pay increase, Scotland’s college employers offered a £450 flat-rate increase to college lecturers, but only offered an increase of £230 to support staff.

This cost of living increase has been set at a considerably lower level for support staff in colleges around the country. Support staff including cleaning, catering, security, classroom assistants, technicians and administrative staff, have voted overwhelmingly for strike action.

Support staff are striking to demand that they are afforded the same cost of living increase as their teaching colleagues. College bosses have as yet failed to offer support staff in our colleagues a fair and equitable sum to settle the dispute. Lecturers and support staff are both affected equally by the rising cost of living and therefore any pay settlement should reflect this reality.

Chris Greenshields, chairman of UNISON’s Further Education Committee said, “Our demand is simple and fair. Pay college support staff the same amount 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.”

RISE fully supports the industrial action been taken by union members in their fight for fair pay in our colleges; we urge you to visit your local college and offer your support and solidarity on the picket line in any way that you can. Support staff are an indispensable commodity in student’s learning environment, and deserve fair and equal pay.