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College lecturers in Stoke to begin ongoing industrial action

28 July 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

Lecturers at Stoke on Trent College will begin continuous industrial action on Monday (July 31) in protest at their management's plans to press ahead with up to 30 compulsory redundancies among teaching staff.

The move to sack staff has particularly angered UCU members because the college has already saved a massive £2m this year through cutting 80 posts. Those jobs were lost through voluntary redundancies and a freeze on teaching and support posts.

UCU members have presented concrete proposals on how the redundancies could be avoided but these have been ignored by the college management. At the same time, the college is pushing ahead with rebuilding its Burslem campus which will cost some £500,000 a year in debt repayments. It is also incurring a £400,000 early repayment charge on a bank loan which UCU has highlighted is unnecessary.

UCU members voted in favour of 'action short of a strike' which means they will strictly adhere to their contracts of employment, not work beyond contracted hours, and withdraw their goodwill. This action starts on Monday and is indefinite.

Chris May, UCU regional official for further education in the West Midlands, said: 'Enough is enough. Our members do not see why it is necessary to remove more posts at their college when there has already been a massive exodus of staff. They are really concerned, not just for their colleagues who will be out of work, but also for their students whose learning opportunities will suffer through the loss of skilled and experienced teachers.

'Our members have come up with some sensible proposals to avoid these redundancies but they are being ignored by a management which is hellbent on cutting staff to the bone while ploughing thousands into its buildings. By taking this industrial action now, we are ensuring that we can easily take full strike action next term if the senior management presses ahead with these short-sighted plans.'

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