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Newcastle College accused of 'union intimidation'

13 April 2011

UCU today accused Newcastle College of intimidation after UCU members were told they could no longer hold meetings on campus.

The college has also banned branch secretary Dave O'Toole from representing members at meetings between the union and senior management.
On Tuesday UCU members at Newcastle College took strike action in protest against plans to sack 170 staff. Despite being banned from having meetings at the college, UCU members will tomorrow (Thursday) hold a meeting on land opposite the Rutherford Building at 12.30pm to discuss their next moves.
In March it was revealed that the principal, Jackie Fisher, enjoyed a whopping 32% annual pay rise for 2009/2010.
The union has accused the college of using the current funding difficulties in further education as an excuse to make disproportionate cuts. UCU said the college's plans would have a devastating effect on the local economy, which has already seen a large increase in unemployment, and make it harder for the region to recover from the recession.
UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'This is a clear case of the college trying to intimidate and bully members of staff for trying to organise against the planned cuts. It is outrageous that UCU members are being forced to meet off campus and that the branch secretary is being targeted in this way.
'These actions will simply strengthen the resolve of UCU members here at Newcastle to fight against the redundancies, which would have a devastating impact on the local community.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015