Lecturers at Scotland's Rural College will NOT go on strike after planned action was suspended following a joint announcement between the college and Scotland's largest teaching union today. 

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and Scotland's Rural University College (SRUC) said in a joint statement - that they have reached an agreement over pay.

Rural college lecturers in Ayrshire had intended to go on strike for at least two weeks after voting for industrial action over pay grading.

Further strike days were also planned across the next few months alongside a programme of action short of a strike.

The union said SRUC staff are being paid significantly less than further and higher education lecturers in other institutions.

Wayne Powell, SRUC principal and chief executive, and Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, have said they are delighted to have been able to ‘reset’ their relationship.

All intended action planned from November 3 has been cancelled. 

EIS members working at the college will be balloted on the agreement reached between the college and union negotiators and the result will be agreed upon within seven days. 

In their joint statement, the college and union said it was 'thanks to several weeks of hard work and negotiation on both sides' that has 'led to a proposed resolution' to the pay grade framework. 

SRUC and the EIS have agreed on a proposed Memorandum of Understanding that, if approved by EIS members, will bind SRUC and EIS to implement key points within a future pay and grading framework.

They said that they will work together to design a pay and grading structure that will reflect the organisation’s 'unique nature' in Scotland.

The pay and grading structure will be underpinned by ajob evaluation process and will be benchmarked against the sector, developing a structure that will align academic grades to other institutions in the higher education sector, such as universities.

In the joint statement Mr Powell and Mr Flanagan said: "A key part of the dispute centred on agreeing on a date to which any pay increases that arise from the job evaluation and pay and grading agreement will be backdated.

"SRUC needs to lead the way as an enterprise HEI [higher education institution] at the heart of the natural economy.

"A fair and equitable pay and grading system and harmonised terms and conditions are key to unlocking the organisation’s potential and creating the conditions for growth.

"Both SRUC and EIS also recognise that nothing is more important than the welfare of colleagues and students and we are pleased to be able to have reached a proposed agreement on this important matter and to ensure that full teaching capacity can resume.

"We are delighted to have been able to ‘reset’ our relationship and we look forward to working together on this new era of understanding and cooperation."