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Staff return to work at Tower Hamlets College after compulsory job loss plans are scrapped

25 September 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Members of UCU have returned to work at Tower Hamlets College after hammering out an agreement to avoid compulsory redundancies during 18 hours of talks at the arbitration service ACAS.

UCU members had been on strike for almost a month in their battle to save jobs. The union said it was delighted that agreement had finally been reached so that staff could get back to doing what they do best - providing education for the community.  
In June the college announced that it was looking to get rid of 25 full-time posts and to halve student places on its Skills for Life programme, as well as getting rid of important outreach centres and support services for students and learners.
Tower Hamlets College works with some of the most underprivileged communities in London and UCU today said it was looking forward to restoring positive industrial relations and working constructively to address the on-going serious challenges facing the college.  
Commenting on the agreement, UCU head of further education, Barry Lovejoy said: 'Our members have fought a tremendous campaign and UCU is pleased to have finally reached an agreement with the college.
'Tower Hamlets has the highest unemployment of any borough in the country and needs a strong local college. Staff do a fantastic job in working with some of the most vulnerable people in society and I am delighted that the threat of compulsory redundancies has been lifted. The college faces a number of tough challenges and it is essential that management and the unions have a constructive working relationship so that we can face them together.'