Strike Action Update

National Lecturers’ Strike – An update for students

As you will probably be aware, the lecturer’s union, the EIS, is involved in a National pay dispute.  This involves lecturers in colleges across Scotland.

As well as strike action, the lecturers have voted to undertake a ‘resulting boycott’ and the ‘withdrawal of goodwill’.

What does this mean for you?

You may be concerned about what impact this may have on your studies at West College Scotland.  We will explain the EIS guidance to lecturers but the amount of action individual lecturers may take may vary.  Some of them for example are not in the EIS and will not be participating at all.  We are working closely with the Student Association to answer any questions you may have and will continue to provide information such as this communication.

Resulting boycott – what does this mean?

  • Lecturers will conduct all assessments as normal (other than on strike days – please see the following information on strikes)
  • Your assessments will be marked and you will be given feedback in the normal way. You will be told if you have passed and if any remediation or resit is required as normal.
  • Lecturers will still keep full records of all your assessment results.
  • The only difference the ‘boycott’ will make is that the lecturer will not enter your result into the College student records system. This means that you will not be able to see your result in ‘Access all Areas’, the student portal. If you have any outstanding results from earlier in the year, these will also not be updated, although the lecturers themselves will keep copies of your results.

What are the implications for you?

  • Your assessment result is safe and when this dispute is resolved, the EIS have reassured us that the lecturers will enter your result into the College system.
  • We would hope that the dispute is resolved soon and therefore the results will all be in place before the summer holidays just as normal. We will keep you informed as to the national dispute progress and any arrangements either Awarding Bodies (such as SQA) or Universities may put in place to manage any situation where resulting is delayed. If the dispute is still going on nearer the summer, we will update you on any action the College is taking to address any issues with your certification or progression.
  • At this stage you should not worry but work hard on passing your assessments.

Withdrawal of Goodwill – what does this mean?

  • Lecturers may not do any additional work over the lunch period or outside of their contracted working hours.

What are the implications for you?

  • You should not experience any differences within normal timetabled class time and the lecturers will teach, assess and support you just as normal.
  • However, it may mean lecturers are not willing to see you at lunchtimes, unless it is a real emergency. They can still see you outside of class times however, within their normal working hours.
  • If you are used to communicating with your lecturers by electronic means in the evenings or at weekends, you may find they will not respond as normal.
  • Some lecturers may not mark work in the evenings or weekends and that could mean you might get some assessment feedback a bit later than normal.
  • If you are used to seeing your lecturers at lunchtimes or receiving communications from your lecturers in the evenings or weekends, you would be advised to ask for more help within class time instead.
  • The withdrawal of goodwill only relates to the time outside of their daytime hours and they will see you as normal in the other times.

We have been reassured by the EIS that the lecturers are concerned that you are not disadvantaged.  The National EIS President herself has reassured students that the lecturers will do all they can to minimise the effect on students to ensure that students pass their courses.

Further strikes

National talks are on going but we have been informed that should the dispute continue, the EIS plan further strikes on:

  • Wednesday 8th May
  • Wednesday 15th & Thursday 16th May

We want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the strike on your studies.  We know that many of you will be worried about how this may affect you. Depending on your timetable, if the strikes go ahead, you may miss some scheduled learning time as a result.  We therefore encourage you to attend College as much as possible for all of your classes on non-strike days and try and keep up to date with your work.  If necessary, the College will make arrangements for you to catch up lost learning time.

The College is working with the Students’ Association to respond to any of your concerns.  There are some questions the students have already asked and the answers are below:

Q. My national exam is scheduled for a strike day. Will it go ahead?

A. Yes, it will. SQA exams scheduled for strike days will go ahead and you should attend College as normal on those days.

Q. What happens if an assessment falls on a strike day?

A. Don’t worry, the assessment will be rescheduled.

Q. When will I be notified of my re-scheduled assessment?

A. When assessments are rescheduled we will ask your lecturers to let you know as soon as possible.

Q. I need certain grades to get to University or move to the next level of study. I’m worried that the strike means I won’t achieve my grades. Should I be?

A. Remember, this is a national strike and there is likely to be a national approach to this issue if the strike becomes extended. It may be that universities and exam awarding bodies will consider the impact of it in terms of entry requirements and grades.

Q. What about classes which are due to run on strike days?

A. Some classes will run on strike days and you will be told if this is the case by your lecturer. If your class is running, please make every effort to attend.

The College will keep you up to date of any changes to these arrangements via the Student Intranet, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and the West College Scotland Students’ Association’s Facebook page.