Thank you for your email on this important matter.
Scottish Labour supports the position of the trades unions that the current pay offer is unacceptable. Dedicated lecturers should not be facing a real-terms pay cut below inflation levels but this is just the latest in a long line of examples of the SNP undervaluing education and our teaching professionals.
Much rhetoric is used by the Scottish Government regarding their prioritisation of education but the action that they take rarely backs this up. Our young people have had two years of unprecedented disrupted education. Our college and university lecturers will be key to our young adults’ recovery from Covid and they must be valued as such. These staff pride themselves on supporting the education of their students. They would not risk more disruption through industrial action unless they believed it was absolutely necessary.
Colleges Scotland has highlighted that the 2022-23 Budget just passed by the SNP/Green Government means a national reduction in funding to the sector equivalent to £51.9million. There has been no increase in the amount of money Universities receive from the Scottish Government per student since 2009/10. All of this is leading to increasing pressures on finances – but this pay offer devalues the education provided by our colleges and universities who deserve our support.
With kind regards,