UNISON Scotland comment on report from Audit Scotland: Scotland Colleges 2018 on the financial state of the sector.

John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish organiser, said: “UNISON Scotland welcomes the Audit Scotland report on the financial state of the sector. As part of the public sector it is heartening that overall there is a small surplus. There is a need for a more detailed examination of earned income and its use across the sector. If a new funding formula is necessary to ensure more equitable distribution of resources, then the Scottish Funding Council should pursue that discussion with interested parties. Market forces and competition will not deliver quality education services. Colleges are no longer in the private sector.”

Chris Greenshields, chair of UNISON’s further education committee said: “Delivery of quality college education in Scotland depends on the whole staff team, not just lecturers. Whilst investment in bricks and mortar is important, investment in staff to harmonise pay and conditions is essential to eliminate the unfairness and pay inequality that exists between colleges. This has been resolved for teaching staff, but UNISON and other support staff unions are having to continue to fight for progress for 5,500 support staff. Such expenditure is an investment, not a cost and is essential to the future quality of services to students. If cost efficiency is required in a sector where the highest paid executive gets nearly ten times the salary of the lowest paid, then the search for cuts should not focus on deleting and devaluing essential student services.”

UNISON Contacts

John Gallacher, Scottish organiser for further education: 07904 342 426