Colleges and staff have been trapped in a cycle of dispute and disruption for a decade, and 2024 promises more of the same.

In the past 10 years, there have been 19 formal disputes between college staff and employers.

Typically, these battles have been between employers and the Educational Institute of Scotland’s Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA). But in recent years, support staff have joined the conflict and brought the full sector to the negotiating table.

Nearly half of the past decade’s disputes have resulted in industrial action.

In the first of a three-part series on the college controversy, we spoke with Gavin Donoghue, director of College Employers Scotland, about how these fights contribute to an unsustainable situation, especially given other financial pressures in the sector.

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