UCU members being voting over whether to take action over the loss of 145 jobs at K College
The dispute centres on the Kent college’s proposals to axe 145 jobs. The union has demanded that any threat of compulsory redundancies is removed and called for a full transparent audit of the college’s finances.
The college’s plans leave the entire workforce of over 1,000 people at risk of redundancy and come just two months after a previous reorganisation, which was supposed to secure the college’s long-term viability, saw 50 jobs go.
The union said the large number of job losses is not justified and pointed to other colleges’ abilities to deal with funding shortfalls without such drastic action. The college’s staff costs are below the further education sector average.
The president of UCU, Kathy Taylor, is addressing a meeting of UCU members at K College today where she will urge them to back the strike ballot as a last measure to make the college see sense.
She said: “Nobody ever wants to see strike action, but the college’s actions have left UCU members at K College with little choice. They have the full backing of the national union in their fight to save jobs and protect the quality of education on offer at K College.”
UCU regional support official Adam Lincoln said: “These ill-conceived and unjustified proposals, that mean the axing around 200 members of staff in a single calendar year, will have huge ramifications for the local area in terms of the quality of education K College is able to deliver. We are not seeking confrontation, but we must defend the education service the college provides not just for now, but for the future.”
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