Members at the SRUC are embarking on a course of strike action.

SRUC was formed in 2012 as part of Cabinet Secretary Michael Russell’s then sectoral merger plans. Unlike other institutions merged at that time, SRUC was a creation of institutions with different, and many argued incompatible, cultures and systems. At merger SRUC‘s constituent colleges were, on the one hand, the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), a small HE institution with campuses in Ayr, Aberdeen, and King’s Buildings Edinburgh, together with separate research and consulting divisions located across rural Scotland and in particular within the Uni. Of Edinburgh /Morden complexes around the Bush, Midlothian. On the other hand, were the three small rural FE colleges: Barony College, Dumfriesshire; Oatridge College, West Lothian, and Elmwood College, Coupar Fife. So, SRUC has a national footprint but being largely rural is out of sight, and sadly out of the minds of many.

SRUC teaches subjects including agriculture, horticulture, the environment, the sustainable and green economy, rural business management, small animal care, equine courses and the whole range of supporting subjects that sustain Scotland’s rural economy and provide the knowledge and skills that will inform and underpin our national food security and action on climate change. SRUC is active across the key areas that Scotland needs to thrive in the Twenty-first Century. Members teach from SCQF levels 4 up to 12. They deliver specialist subject teaching to schools, support SVQ and apprentice training, deliver specialist industry training, campus teach across a range of SQA general subjects and highly specialised vocational subjects. Our members deliver degree teaching at undergraduate, postgraduate degree, and PhD level, variously accredited by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In 2012, the Scottish Government disregarded members’ concerns and pressed ahead with the merger. In the nine years since the merger, members have experienced a series of broken promises on pay harmonisation. In that time, the FE sector has absorbed the pain of merger and emerged with a national agreement for standardised pay and key terms & conditions (T&Cs), reflecting the earlier similar HE sector process that had resulted in the HE sector pay and grading agreement. Not only is pay and job grading at the SRUC out with any national FE or HE agreed framework, but it’s also not even harmonised within the SRUC. This means that an SRUC lecturer at the former Barony campus is paid differently for doing the same job as SRUC staff at other SRUC sites.

Today, SRUC members earn thousands of pounds a year less than academic staff in FE and HE across Scotland. This adversely affects members’ living standards and, in the long term, their pensions. Today’s underpay will ripple through the whole life of every SRUC member.

Members at SRUC can no longer afford to plan their lives around management’s successive broken promises of jam tomorrow – all the EIS members at SRUC want is the HE sector norms for pay and conditions, today. Nothing special, just sector norms. Please support us and help stop the devaluation of rural education with all its impacts on staff, students, rural communities, and industries.