Lecturers at two colleges are today taking strike action over jobs. UCU members at Lewisham Southwark College take the first of three days of action as they step up their campaign against more than 100 job losses, while at Sheffield College, workers ar …

UCULecturers at two colleges are today taking strike action over jobs.

UCU members at Lewisham Southwark College take the first of three days of action as they step up their campaign against more than 100 job losses, while at Sheffield College, workers are walking out in a row over compulsory redundancies.

Lewisham College managers have blamed government cuts for its plans to axe 112 posts, but the union says the college has failed to fully explore alternative financial strategies and has created unnecessary delays in agreeing voluntary redundancy packages for staff.

UCU regional official, Una O’Brien, said: “Strike action is a last resort for staff at Lewisham Southwark College, but we are increasingly frustrated with the college’s slash and burn approach to its difficulties. The college should sit down with us and discuss all the options available.”

In Sheffield, the union has called on the college to halt plans to axe 13 jobs and look at ways to deliver a fairer deal for staff.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: “We warned last week that unless the college was prepared to negotiate seriously with us to try and find a solution to the current impasse over job losses and plans to downgrade the role of the lecturer, then more strike action was on the cards.

“We believe the college has already made large savings this year and that staff and students have suffered enough disruption from those cuts. We want to resolve the current situation as quickly as possible so we can get back to the important task of delivering education for people in Sheffield However, we will not stand back and watch jobs and educational opportunities in the local area disappear.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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