I am disappointed that no agreement has been reached at ACAS and that industrial action is taking place. The Scottish Government is committed to National Bargaining, which was included in our 2011 manifesto. Indeed, the Minister for Further Education has met separately with EIS and representatives of the sector’s employers’ association regarding this dispute and encouraged both bodies to work together constructively to reach a resolution. Significant progress towards reaching a settlement has been made so far and we encourage the EIS and employers to negotiate, agree and deliver a way forward so that the sector can focus on delivering the high-quality education that its students expect.
Disputes such as these are nobody’s interests and my SNP colleagues and I are particularly concerned about the impact on college students, their learning and the successful completion of their courses. EIS and employers clearly have a difference of view. However, it is a matter for them to negotiate, agree and deliver a way forward.