FIFE COLLEGE staff are set to benefit after unions secured a £14 million pay and conditions deal for support workers in Scotland’s 26 colleges.

The agreement will see pay increase by a minimum of £1,600 over a 29-month period. 

Patricia Murray, vice-chair of UNISON Scotland Further Education Committee, welcomed the outcome.

“This deal will see over 40 per cent of our members get a pay rise in each of two years of between 3 and 4.1 per cent, with gains of up to £170 beyond government pay policy at the lower end of the scales,” she said.

“It puts £1,600 minimum into pay packets, with payouts in November 2018, April 2019 and April 2020.

"There is still a long road ahead in relation to delivering national pay grade harmonisation for support staff in colleges, like their lecturing colleagues.

"However, this deal will provide them with some much needed relief while we get there.”

Alison MacLean, regional officer, Unite, added: “This deal will see a period of long-awaited stability for our members who do an excellent job across our Scottish colleges.

"Thankfully, their contribution to the sector is finally being recognised after years of low pay awards. 

“Whilst we have made significant progress, there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve our ultimate goal of national pay and grading harmonisation and improved terms and conditions for college support staff.”

Chief executive of Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, Shona Struthers, said: “This agreement is the culmination of a lot of hard work, serious negotiations and compromise by both parties and has delivered the best possible, affordable pay rises and improvements in conditions of service.”