FIFE College has been accused of bullying after staff were warned they would not be paid if they choose to take part in industrial action.

It follows a ballot earlier this year which could see lead to action short of strike (ASOS) activities.

One academic employee who received a letter warning of the measure has blasted the tactics, describing them as "tantamount to bullying", while unions have also said they are "deeply concerned" at the threat.

The EIS FELA branch at the college said that members who refuse to enter student results, a task that typically takes five to 15 minutes, are being threatened with indefinite 100 per cent pay deductions.

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They also said decisions will be made at the discretion of individual line managers, creating an environment ripe for inconsistency and potential discrimination.

Slamming the actions, one member of staff , who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Press: "College Employers Scotland repeatedly refuse to increase their offer which is well below what other public sector employees have received.

"I believe teachers received about a 12 per cent uplift helped by £26m that was earmarked for further education. The Scottish Government have not returned this money to where it belongs.

"The principal of the college and HR are now stating that they will deduct 100 per cent of our pay if we participate in any boycotting of resulting – part of ASOS.

"This is in contravention of the Fair Pay act, undermines both staff and trade unions, and is tantamount to bullying."

EIS' FELA union branch at Fife College has expressed its concern over the plans to withhold or 'deem' the wages of both members and non-members participating in legally sanctioned Action Short of Strike (ASOS) activities.

They said the "aggressive and unwarranted action" undermined all efforts to resolve the ongoing cost of living pay dispute through constructive dialogue.

A statement from the Fife College EIS FELA branch committee said: "We find this chaotic and bullying approach to be entirely unacceptable and operationally untenable.

"We urge all colleagues to promptly contact the Principal, Mr. Jim Metcalfe, to voice their strong opposition to these threatened actions with the utmost urgency."

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They added that the union branch at the college remained committed to resolving the pay dispute through meaningful constructive dialogue and negotiations but added that the threatened actions by college management have "severely undermined" these efforts and created an environment of hostility and mistrust.

The statement continued: "The Fife College EIS FELA branch calls upon the college management to immediately withdraw these threats and return to the negotiating table in good faith. Failure to do so will only escalate tensions and potentially lead to further industrial action."

Responding to the concerns, a Fife College spokesperson said: “We respect our colleagues’ right to strike and continue to hope for a timely resolution to this national dispute.

“As part of the ongoing dispute last year, some colleagues chose to not record student grades on the college system. This was very disruptive to many students and was – and continues to be – a breach of contract.

“In order for students to be able to move ahead with their future work and study ambitions, and in a decision we have not taken lightly, colleagues who decide not to record grades in this way will have their pay deducted.

“We will be in regular contact with staff and students throughout this difficult period for colleges across the country.”