25th May 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Lecturers hand anti-privatisation petition to council

College lecturers handed over a petition opposing privatisation to the council at Lerwick Town Hall on Friday afternoon.

SIC convenor Malcolm Bell was on hand to receive the petition, which has around 450 signatures from staff, students and the general public across Shetland.

EIS-FELA union members from Shetland College, Train Shetland and the NAFC Marine Centre are protesting details of the merger process and the business model to be adopted by the proposed college.

Union branch secretary and Shetland College lecturer Andrew Anderson, who is also the staff representative on the shadow board responsible for overseeing the merger, was at the protest.

Mr Anderson said they do not want education to fall into private hands.

College lecturers hand over the petition to council convenor Malcolm Bell.

The college lecturer stressed that they were not against the merger, but wanted to ensure there was a diverse range of accessible courses available for students across the isles and “public accountability”.

It was crucial that the merged organisation had charitable status, according to Mr Anderson.

The branch secretary said there were other protests from colleges across Scotland taking place at the same time, including in Edinburgh and the Western Isles, in solidarity with staff here in Shetland.

There had been “a lot of support from the public,” said Mr Anderson.

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