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Strike action on the cards at Preston College

13 November 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Preston College looks increasingly likely that it will face disruptive strike action in the new year after UCU announced today that it will be balloting its members at the college for strike action in a row over job cuts.

The union says it is deeply concerned about the impact the cuts will have on the most disadvantaged students in the local area.
 
UCU says the college's disingenuous approach to redundancies has left it with little choice but to push for industrial action. The college recently announced that it had met its student recruitment targets for the year, but then announced a budget shortfall of around £1m. It has since announced that it will be making 11 staff redundant and hinted heavily that more will follow. The union said that the college had to open up its books to proper scrutiny and a full assessment of its current financial state.
 
Preston College has a proud and proven track record of working with students from the most deprived backgrounds and providing access to education that those students may not find elsewhere. UCU is deeply concerned about the impact the job losses will have on the local community. Ten of the 11 posts the college is looking to axe are in IT in the community courses.
 
UCU regional official for the North West, Colin Gledhill, said: 'UCU members at Preston College are deeply concerned at the impact plans to axe jobs will have on the local community. It is essential that the college sits down with us and gives us details of the full financial picture. Already we are hearing rumours of further cuts, but no one is willing to keep staff informed. Such rumours do little for staff morale, which is already low following the original job cuts announcement.
 
'Staff are entitled to expect a proper longer-term strategy that is developed in partnership with them and is the best interests of students. It is the hard work of the staff that has made the college a success and they deserve to be treated as something more than disposable assets.'

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