College Lecturers (Strike)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 28 April 2022.

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Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative

I have been contacted by many students who feel sick with worry because of the decision of their college lecturers to go on strike during the most critical phase of their studies, just before their final assessments and exams. With classes being suspended, students face the prospect of getting no feedback on assessments, they are unsure whether exams will go ahead as planned and they even face the prospect of taking exams without having completed their courses. It is clear to see that students are the real victims in this dispute.

What support is the Scottish Government prepared to offer students who have been left hanging for the second year in a row as a result of the failure of management and unions to settle their dispute?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Colleges—as, I know, the member is aware—are independent institutions. It is for employers to negotiate pay and conditions with unions, and I would expect employers to get round the table with the college unions and come to an agreement that takes away the risk and the reality of strike action.

The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that there is a process that involves constructive conversations on both sides, but I say to colleges, which are the employers here, that they should ensure that they are engaging to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We will continue to support students in every way that we can, but the best way in which we can support students is to ensure that employers get round the table with the unions and resolve the dispute.