FIFE College students are set to be affected by further strike action today (Tuesday).

Colleges Scotland Employers' Association has expressed its disappointment at the industrial action by members of the Educational Institute of Scotland's Further Education Lecturers' Association.

It will be the second of four strike days which the union has put down to a failure to offer a "fair cost of living pay increase".

The last walk-out took place on January 15 when many lectures at Fife College had to be cancelled.

Director of Employment Services John Gribben said it was "disappointing" that the action had not been suspended while negotiations were on-going.

"We have met with the EIS-FELA on 10 occasions to discuss pay and will be meeting them again on Thursday to try and end this disruptive strike action," he said.

“The EIS-FELA is aware that colleges are already having to make cuts to finance the additional pay offer which they have rejected. Their unreasonable pay demands would mean fewer courses, fewer students, and fewer lecturing jobs in the college sector.

“As we have repeatedly said to the EIS-FELA, the pay increases over 2017-20 from harmonisation are directly connected to the current additional pay offer on the table over the same three-year period and cannot be separated – a pay rise is a pay rise irrespective of where it comes from.

"College lecturers in Scotland are by far the best paid across the UK and they have rejected a combined pay deal that would increase national average pay by over 12%, or more than £4,000, from 2017-20.

“Any deal must be affordable and sustainable for the sector and the EIS-FELA should recognise how strong the overall package for lecturing staff is.

"Not only are lecturers benefitting from significant pay rises, they have also seen substantial improvements in their terms and conditions, including 62 days’ annual holiday, a reduction in weekly contact with students to 23 hours, and excellent pensions provision.

"Despite considerable increases in pay and improvements in terms and conditions, this still isn’t enough for the EIS-FELA.

"It remains within the gift of the EIS-FELA to suspend strike action and end this unnecessary disruption to students, who are losing out the most.”