Strike action scheduled to hit colleges on Wednesday has been called off.

The decision by the EIS-FELA trade union, who are calling for a "fair" cost-of-living pay rise, has been welcomed by representatives of the college sector.

However, the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association is disappointed that industrial action short of strike action continues, including withholding students’ assessment results, and the strike action scheduled for May 15 and 16 has not been suspended.

Representatives for the college sector held the 17th dispute meeting with the EIS-FELA on Thursday in Glasgow and, although agreement has not been reached, a deal seems to be closer.

John Gribben, director of employment services at Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said: “Colleges welcome the decision by the EIS-FELA to suspend their strike action on Wednesday, May 8 and, while we are moving closer to reaching a deal, we recognise there is more work to be done.

"We’re disappointed that the EIS-FELA continues to target the students by withholding their assessment results and has not called off strike days scheduled for May 15 and 16.

“Colleges have made a further improved financial offer to the EIS-FELA subject to agreement on terms and conditions.

"We believe lecturers would accept the deal and have asked the EIS-FELA to take our offer to its members for approval.

“Lecturers in Scotland are by far the best paid in the UK, and the pay harmonisation rises from 2017 to 2020, combined with the improved pay offer on the table from colleges, equate to a national average increase of well over £5,000 – or more than 12 per cent.

“Lecturers have also had significant improvements in terms and conditions over the same 2017-20 pay period, including an enviable 62 days’ holiday per year and a reduction in class contact time to 23 hours per week, so they are well paid, have terrific terms and conditions, and we believe this further improved offer would be accepted by their members.”