COLLEGE bosses and unions are to hold crunch talks tomorrow in a bid to avoid further strike action.

Lecturers walked out yesterday in a second day of protests over pay with union the EIS saying there was strong support on the picket lines.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland Further Education Lecturers' Association (EIS-FELA) have been campaigning for a "fair cost of living" pay increase, which they say has not happened since April 2016.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The support at the picket lines this morning shows that EIS-FELA members remain resolute and determined to secure a fair cost of living increase for Scotland’s FE lecturers.

READ MORE: College Scotland bosses hit out at "unreasonable" pay demands

"Lecturers are asking only for a pay settlement that is in line with existing public sector pay policy.

"It is disappointing that the response from Colleges Scotland has been inflammatory rhetoric about lecturers being ‘greedy’ and ‘unreasonable’.

"Nothing could be further from the truth - our members have been extremely reasonable and are asking only for the same type of cost of living settlement that college support staff, and many other public sector workers, have already received."

Lecturers voted in favour of taking industrial action in December, with 90 per cent of those who took part backing the move.

The first day of strikes took place on January 16, while the second came on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Classes suspended as West College Scotland lecturers get set for strike action

A third is scheduled for March 6 if a deal is not reached.

The Scottish Government claims it has "invested heavily" in colleges and funding additional costs of "harmonisation" of pay, terms and conditions.

This was said to have helped the institutions deliver an average nine per cent pay increase to lecturers over three years.

Further Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: "It is profoundly disappointing the strike is going ahead and it is not surprising that students are angry especially since there have been encouraging signs of progress in recent talks.

"We will be speaking again soon when I will again urge both parties to resolve this dispute in this spirit of collaboration and cooperation as its continuation is in no-one's interests, least of all our students."

EIS-FELA President Pam Currie added: "EIS-FELA hopes that, in our next meeting on Thursday, Colleges Scotland will come with a willingness to engage in meaningful discussions towards a negotiated and fair agreement.