Scottish education union EIS-Fela has called on the Scottish National Party (SNP) government to make college bosses comply with a new national bargaining process.
The union said that the process was “in danger of becoming a sham”.
The SNP made a key pledge to return to national bargaining in Scotland’s colleges as it set about a mergers process.
But the scheme was voluntary and some maverick colleges have tried to challenge it.
EIS-Fela branches at Glasgow’s three huge newly merged colleges have now formally declared disputes with bosses over their refusal to join national bargaining.
A national strike ballot was sanctioned on Friday of last week. It will run from 8 February to 1 March.
EIS members are campaigning for equal pay and to reverse years of declining income.
Donny Gluckstein of the union’s national bargaining team told Socialist Worker, “What all these shenanigans do, ironically, is to strengthen our campaign because we are now fighting, not just for pay but the very existence of national bargaining.
“When the merger process took place, with all the problems that created, the one sop that the government offered was national bargaining.”
He added, “It has done nothing to push the recalcitrant college boards to sign up.
“So our slogan should be ‘Defend national bargaining, vote for equal pay’. I think this will help turnout.”
Activists must now build the biggest possible vote for strikes.