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Two-day walkout at Hull College Group over job cuts

16 May 2018

Staff at the Hull College Group will begin a two-day walkout tomorrow (Thursday) as part of a row over plans to slash hundreds of jobs.

UCU members at Hull College and Harrogate College will be on picket lines from 7am both days in the following locations:

·         Hull College: outside Queens Gardens and Cannon Street sites

·         Harrogate College: main entrance on Hornbeam Park Avenue

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy will also visit the Queens Gardens picket in Hull at 12.30pm tomorrow.

The row centres on plans to cut 231 full-time equivalent posts across the college group's three campuses in Hull, Harrogate and Goole - a move which UCU says would lead to around a third of the workforce being cut.

Staff also walked out last Wednesday in protest at the planned cuts, which the union says will lead to fewer learning opportunities for local people.

UCU members recently delivered a damning vote of no confidence in chief executive officer Michelle Swithenbank. The union said her position was untenable after a failure to defend jobs at the college, as well as efforts to bully and then bribe staff not to attend a protest against the running of the college. It took the college four days to issue a statement backing the beleaguered head.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'Strike action is never taken lightly, but staff at the Hull College Group feel they have been left with little choice. These job cuts would be devastating for staff, students and the local community. We urge the college management to put an urgent stop to these plans and work with us to explore better alternatives which protect jobs and learning opportunities.'

  In the recent strike ballot, 79% of the staff who voted at the college's three campuses in Hull, Harrogate and Goole backed strike action.