Scottish Agricultural College staff say yes to strike


Scottish Agricultural College staff say yes to strike

Prospect members at the Scottish Agricultural College have voted to strike and take action short of a strike in an ongoing dispute over pay.

  • 13 Dec 2002
  • Pay

On a turnout of 75%, nearly 63% voted to strike while almost 84% backed some form of industrial action. The branch executive committee will meet on Monday, December 16 to consider strike action for early January, and other action including a stoppage on work beyond members' contracted hours.

"This result sends a clear message to management that staff will not accept a deal that amounts to a zero pay increase for over 80% of staff at the college," said Prospect negotiator Alan Denney.

"It follows last-ditch attempts through the conciliation service Acas to avoid industrial action. But, despite exhaustive talks, management were still unable to go that extra mile to ensure some form of pay increase for staff.

"While an offer was placed on the table halfway through the talks, it would still leave the great majority of SAC employees without any increase and effectively impose a pay cut in real terms."

The high turnout, added Denney, was a reflection of the poor morale among staff at the college, where Prospect represents 600 members.

Industrial action will affect tuition at SAC’s three sites in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Ayr, as well as the veterinary, research and advisory services the college provides to Scotland’s agricultural community.

Prospect’s negotiating team at the SAC decided to ballot members after hundreds came forward to express their anger at the college’s refusal to make any pay offer in response to the union’s initial claim for a 3% increase for 2002.

Staff were particularly distressed to learn that SAC had not even approached the Scottish Executive to ask for additional funding to meet the cost of a pay rise this year.