AS PART of an ongoing national dispute over pay, IS-FELA, Unison and Unite, the trade unions for lecturing and support staff at Borders College have asked their members to undertake a rolling programme of strike action in colleges across Scotland.

At Borders College the affected dates currently announced are September 7 and September 26.

During this period, Borders College will remain open and provide learning for the vast majority of student.

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However, a minority of programmes of study could be disrupted.

If any class is affected, students will be informed by a member of the college staff.

A Borders College spokesperson said: “It is disappointing that the trades unions have decided to ask their members to undertake this strike action.

“In June, College Employers Scotland (CES) – the representative body for colleges in Scotland - provided a full and final pay offer to the trade unions for a cumulative £3,500 pay rise.

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“CES has requested that the unions take this pay offer to their members for a formal ballot, as it would equate to an average 11% pay increase for support staff and an average of 8% for lecturing staff. To date, the unions have refused to do this.

“Borders College hopes the unions will call off these damaging strikes; however, we will of course work to minimise the impact on our students during this time.”

Unison further education branch secretary Chris Greenshields said: “College staff were due this pay increase a year ago. It’s unacceptable, even by the standards of the college sector, to take this long to agree a pay deal.

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“The employers’ idea of a resolution to the crisis is to threaten our members with compulsory redundancy.

“Effectively members are being asked to pay for their own pay rise with their job, during a cost-of-living crisis.

“We need the same guarantee that has been given to the rest of the public sector that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

“Unison has appealed to the Scottish government to help us find a solution – employers must extend the no compulsory redundancy guarantee to college staff. Colleges are publicly funded but the Government refuses to intervene.

“The minister seems willing to allow the strikes to proceed rather than ensure staff get a decent pay rise.”