College lecturers in Scotland have voted by 92 percent in favour of national industrial action in an indicative ballot. The turnout was 55 percent.
The EIS-Fela union members are campaigning for equal pay across Scotland’s colleges.
They are expected to begin a national ballot for “sustained strikes” early in the New Year.
The lecturers and college support staff in the Unison union have rejected a 1 percent pay offer.
Bosses can well afford a higher pay rise for staff.
In recent years £106 million of funding has been put into Arm’s Length Foundations.
It would cost around £11 million to meet the pay claim. Yet the Scottish National Party (SNP) government’s education budget for 2014-15 had a £72 million underspend.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) has allowed 13 former college principals to walk away with £2.4 million in redundancy packages.
Some 60 union members protested outside the SFC headquarters on Friday of last week. Many were in festive costume with one Santa Claus, pictured, leading the rally.
Union activists must now prepare to build an even bigger turnout and argue for a vote for strikes.
This can pile pressure on the SNP ahead of Scottish elections in May.
Strikes continue at Open University
Open University (OU) workers struck across Britain last week.
OU bosses want to close seven regional centres and slash over 500 jobs.
The UCU union members struck in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Milton Keynes on Friday of last week.
This followed walkouts in Manchester on Thursday and Nottingham on Wednesday.
Ballot is on in Aberdeen
UCU members at the University of Aberdeen are balloting for strikes after bosses refused to rule out compulsory redundancies.
Bosses had previously agreed not to impose them after a ballot in June.