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National pay system for colleges
National pay bargaining for college sector staff is to be underpinned by the Post 16 Education (Scotland) Bill later this month.
Ahead of his speech to the EIS AGM conference on Saturday, Education Secretary Michael Russell highlighted the disparity in pay across the sector and said that measures to support a coherent, national pay structure for college staff should be put in place as soon as possible.
An amendment to the Bill in its final hearing would support the mechanism allowing this to happen. The Stage 3 debate will be held in the Scottish Parliament before the end of the month.
Mr Russell said:
“College staff perform a vital role in helping young people into employment through their inspiration, support and guidance. As such, they play a key role in our economic development, helping young people into jobs, and ensuring our employers get the skills they need.
“I have long made clear my commitment to national pay bargaining in our colleges, and I have put in place a team to help with the necessary work. Chair of Edinburgh College, Ian McKay, is leading this effort, liaising with regional college leads. The EIS, at whose conference I am speaking this weekend is a central partner in those discussions, which also involve other unions, the Scottish Funding Council and Colleges Scotland.
“Stage 3 of the Post 16 Education Bill takes place later this month. This is the right vehicle to put in place mechanisms to underpin that process. While we are still at an early stage, and further discussions lie ahead, I hope this move will receive widespread support among unions and college staff themselves.”