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Worcester College of Technology could face industrial action in row over jobs and pay

7 July 2011

UCU today warned Worcester College of Technology that it could face industrial action in a row over jobs and pay.

UCU members at the college will meet tomorrow to discuss next steps, but have refused to rule out balloting members for strike action.
 
The college has announced plans to make 22 staff redundant and has threatened a further 100 lecturers with the sack, unless they agree to pay cuts of up to £3,000.
 
The union says the chaos at the college is stopping some staff from planning for the new academic year because they don't know who will still be in post. UCU accused the college of 'putting a gun' to members' heads' and forcing them to chose between massive pay cuts or the possibility of losing their job.
 
The college has told students to expect a 15% reduction in teaching time, which UCU believes will have a devastating consequence on the quality of teaching and the college's reputation.
 
UCU regional official, Nick Varney, said: 'These plans are little more than an attempt to deliver teaching on the cheap and have succeeded only in causing chaos at the college. Instead of putting a gun to staff members' heads and forcing them to suffer huge pay cuts, the college should be negotiating with us.
 
'Sacking staff, slashing pay and cutting teaching hours will have a devastating effect on students' education, as well as deterring the best and brightest from wanting to come here. We all know there are funding difficulties in further education at the moment but threatening staff in this fashion is in nobody's interest.
 
'Our members will now consider their next steps. Strike action remains very much on the cards, especially if the college does not withdraw its threat of compulsory dismissals and pay cuts.'

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