Strike action ballot in row over contract changes at Barnfield College

11 September 2012

UCU announced today that it will be balloting members at Barnfield College for strike action in a row over changes to their contracts.

The ballot will open on Thursday (13 September) and close next Friday (21 September). UCU is angry at the college's attempt to increase staff working hours.
The union estimates that the new contracts would give the college around an extra 30,000 teaching hours a year. The college has refused to say what the majority of extra hours would be used for, but the union fears they could lead to redundancies; something the college has refused to rule out.
The union is calling on the college to set a clear cap on the number of teaching hours for staff each week and halt current plans to increase staff's teaching loads. For every teaching hour someone works there is an associated amount of preparation, marking and administration. Most staff at Barnfield College already work above their contracted hours to get everything done and the union says an increase in teaching hours would leave staff having to work even more hours of unpaid overtime just to get their jobs done.
UCU regional support official, Shane Hall, said: 'Staff at Barnfield are already over worked and are now expected to sign up for more hours of teaching. There has clearly been no consideration for the amount of time it takes to prepare for and evaluate lessons, or any of the other duties that staff are expected to do, on top of teaching.
'We fear the college wants fewer staff to do more work, which will result in job losses and those left in post doing even more unpaid overtime just to get their jobs done.
'We don't believe these changes are fair or right and that is why we are balloting members to take industrial action. Nobody wants any disruption, but unless the college removes these damaging proposals we will be left with no choice.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015