COLLEGE lecturers have warned they will escalate ongoing industrial action unless “definitive action” is taken to put forward a fair and fully funded pay award.

EIS Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-Fela) claims the current offer would have to be funded through significant job losses across the college sector.

They will take action with a rally outside of the Scottish Parliament next week, coinciding with the first First Minister’s Questions (FMQs) following the summer recess.

The union warns that without an “acceptable and fully funded offer” the membership will escalate industrial action to include national and rolling strike action, alongside action currently ongoing in the constituencies of key Scottish Government ministers.

Lecturers say they are still waiting for a fair settlement for last year’s pay claim.

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Andrea Bradley, general secretary of the EIS, said time was running out to avoid any escalation of industrial action.

She said: “No group of workers, least of all those in public sector institutions, should be told by their employers that they must sacrifice jobs to finance an already unacceptable pay offer.

“College Employers Scotland have yet to offer evidence that they have made clear to the Scottish Government that any acceptable pay award must be fully funded.

“The Scottish Government too must end its intransigence and avert this crisis by ensuring that no pay offer to hard working college lecturers is financed by job losses.

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“EIS-FELA members are prepared to take substantial strike action, on top of action short of strike, in pursuit of a fully funded and fair pay award. They do so with the full backing of the EIS behind them.”

Anne-Marie Harley, EIS-Fela president, said: “College lecturers should have received a fair pay award a year ago and have been forced into the unacceptable situation of escalating their industrial action to a wide-ranging programme of strike action, including targeted strike action in the constituencies of Scottish Government ministers.

“We do so alongside a re-ballot of our members to ensure that we can continue this fight for fair pay for as long as it takes. EIS-FELA will never trade jobs for pay and both College Employers Scotland and the Scottish Government must act swiftly to avert strike action through providing a fully funded a fair pay award for college lecturers that does not result in job losses.”