Union steps up campaign to save jobs at K College

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UCU members at K College have said they will not rule out strike action if employers push through plans for compulsory redundancies.

The union has stepped up its fight to save 145 jobs, calling for a full transparent audit of the Kent college’s finances.

The college’s plans leave the entire workforce of 1,032 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 has written to the principal and chief executive of K College, Bill Fearon, insisting that compulsory redundancies are not enforced as part of the latest cost-cutting exercise.

In the letter, UCU makes it clear that the union is in a formal dispute with the college and that, although it remains open to negotiations, strike action has not been ruled out.

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.

UCU said if another 145 jobs go there will be huge ramifications for the local area in terms of the quality of education the college can deliver. Staff that survive the latest cull would see their workloads increase considerably. The union is calling for a community impact assessment and full consultation with students, parents, MPs and local communities.

UCU regional support official Adam Lincoln, said: “We are unconvinced by the rationale from K College that another 145 jobs need to go. Over 50 jobs were lost as part of a reorganisation that finished just two months ago with the stated aim of securing the long-term viability of the college.

“These hasty new proposals, that involve the axing around 200 staff in a single year, would 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. Strike action has not been ruled out and we want to see a proper transparent audit of the college’s finances.”


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