Redundancy packages as a result of the SNP Government’s reorganisation of colleges amounts to over £90 million.
Analysis of freedom of information requests from Scottish Labour shows that nearly 3,500 college staff have been made redundant since 2007.
Labour said the information, revealed in the wake of controversies surrounding the redundancy payments of senior staff at Coatbridge College, showed the SNP had made the wrong choices in further education.
This week NUS Scotland said that student support in further education was not fit for purpose, and EIS members said the SNP’s college mergers had not improved education in the sector.
Scottish Labour Public Services spokesperson Jackie Baillie said:
“Scotland’s colleges should be the envy of the world. Everyone, regardless of postcode or privilege, should be able to access the skills they need to get on in life.
“But the SNP’s record on colleges has been shambolic. The students’ union say support is not fit for purpose whilst the lecturers’ union say that the SNP’s mergers have not improved learning and teaching quality.
“Colleges mergers are one of the few public sector reforms undertaken by this SNP Government and it has been a complete and utter failure, not least for the 140,000 students who have been locked out of college courses.
“The SNP should have spent their eight years in power investing in colleges, not making nearly 3,500 college staff redundant at a cost of over £90 million.
“The First Minister said that closing the gap between the richest and the rest was her number one priority. Instead for eight years she has been part of a government that has decimated colleges. With a majority in parliament and more powers than ever before there are no excuses for the SNP on colleges