Writtle College management given vote of 'no confidence' by staff

7 June 2010

Staff at Writtle College today delivered an overwhelming vote of 'no confidence' in the college's management.

A consultative ballot of members from UCU, Unison and Unite, revealed that over ninety per cent (91%) had lost faith in the principal and his senior management team following the announcement of 16 compulsory redundancies and a reduction in contract hours.
The latest cuts come on top of 13 voluntary redundancies and the unions said they were deeply concerned about the impact job losses and worsening conditions of service would have on students' education and other front-line services.
The cuts will mean bad news for the staff that survive the cull as the college plans to massively increase the teaching hours of those lecturers left in post. Non-teaching staff are also at risk from the proposals which will see holiday entitlement and contract hours cut back across the college.
UCU today accused senior management of failing to come up with a 'coherent plan' for the institution's long-term financial and operational stability, despite being in place for three years. The unions have been backed in their fight by the students' union, who today expressed their anger that students and staff are being made to pay the price for management's failings.
Student union president, Emily Stevens, said: 'I am really disappointed at what has happened here at Writtle. Students feel completely let down. Senior management has failed to respond to our concerns about how these cuts will affect courses and our education.'
UCU branch chair at Writtle, Pennie Wallace, said: 'This college has a fantastic track record of providing high quality education. Staff here at Writtle are committed to the college and its students and have been patiently waiting for the senior management team to deliver a credible solution. The vote of 'no confidence' is very much a last resort to get management to act in the long-term interests of the college.'
UCU regional official, Lydia Richards, said: 'I think it is scandalous that staff and students are being forced to pay the price for management's lack of coherent planning. Today's vote should act as an urgent wake-up call to the principal. It is essential that he now works with us and the student body here at Writtle to help the college plan for its future.'
Full result of consultation

Turnout – 81%
Those for a vote of 'no confidence' – 91%
Those against a vote of 'no confidence' – 9%

Last updated: 11 December 2015