STAFF at colleges around Scotland will go on strike over a pay dispute and job security.

UNISON, the union which represents staff in the public services, announced that more than 2,000 support staff - including librarians, IT specialists, administrators, cleaners, canteen workers, and estate management staff who work at 21 colleges in Scotland will take part in the action on Thursday, February 29.

Union members at Borders College will be taking part in the strike over an 18-month long pay dispute.

UNISON Scotland's further education branch secretary Chris Greenshields said: “College support staff deserve a fair pay rise without the threat of compulsory redundancies.

“Nobody wants to be on strike, but staff have been left with little choice. The union submitted a revised proposal to try and move things along back in December and it took college bosses two months to reject it.”

In December 81 per cent of union members voted in favour of the industrial action.

The union has called on employers to honour promises of a pay rise and adds that any increase in pay not bring about redundancies.

A spokesperson for College Employers Scotland said: “It is regrettable that UNISON has opted to press ahead with a strike that will only add to the disruption already experienced by students last year.

“UNISON has been offered a consolidated pay rise of £5,000 alongside other college support staff over three years. This is the employers’ full and final offer and remains on the table despite the exceptionally difficult financial circumstances facing colleges. If accepted, it would deliver an average pay rise of nearly 16% for support staff going back to September 2022, and 21.5% for support staff earning less than £25,000.

“Unite and GMB members have already voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer – but UNISON members need to do the same before any additional money can be paid to college support staff.

“Colleges are acutely aware of the financial pressures that staff are under. That is why they want to apply the proposed pay increase in the earliest possible pay period. We therefore urge UNISON to cancel plans for another strike and ballot its members on the very substantial pay offer that is still on the table from employers.”