College students are facing a summer of disruption after attempts to resolve a pay dispute in the sector broke down.

Members of the EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) are taking two days of strike action this week and are also boycotting student assessment results.

The union had suspended strike action last week in the hope of an agreement with Colleges Scotland. However, talks this week have ended without a solution.

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Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: “There has been a distinct lack of meaningful negotiation from Colleges Scotland and a lack of urgency on their part to resolve this dispute.”

“Once again they have fallen back into the pattern of making increasingly belligerent comments about lecturing staff which confirms they understand little about the role of a lecturer.”

Colleges Scotland said they had tabled a “substantially improved” offer and asked EIS-FELA to put the overall package on pay, terms and conditions to their members.

Heather Stevenson, interim director of employment services for Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said: “Colleges have put a generous package on the table which would take over 90 per cent of unpromoted lecturers to an annual salary of £41,426 and provide all lecturers with the right to request flexible working arrangements.

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“Colleges are doing everything we can to end this dispute for the sake of students, who are being deliberately targeted by the EIS-FELA.”

The EIS said members had been offered a two per cent consolidated pay rise covering a three year period which it argues does not cover increases in inflation.

However, Colleges Scotland said most lecturers had received significant increases in recent years because of an agreement to harmonise pay across the country.

They say colleges cannot afford any further rises without cuts.