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Strike action vote in jobs cut row at Kirklees College

28 May 2013

Members of UCU at Kirklees College are today being balloted for strike action in a row over job losses and cuts to staff pay and conditions.

Staff are furious that over 50 jobs are going as the college attempts to deal with financial problems exacerbated by the delayed completion of new campuses in Huddersfield costing £81 million.  As a result, the first £2m of college earnings are being taken up in capital and interest repayments on mortgages and loans.

As well as sacking staff, the college is seeking to cut the pay of those who survive the cull. UCU says this is no way to treat people who, just months ago, helped the college attain an OFSTED Grade 1. The union added that prioritising buildings and empires over staff, students and the quality of education would do little for the college's reputation. 

UCU is worried that the quality of education at the college will be affected by job losses, inevitable bigger classes, reduced course hours and increased workloads for the staff that remain. The strike ballot will close on Monday 10 June with the result expected that afternoon.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'The college's decision to splash out on new buildings looks like having a devastating effect on the staff, students and local communities of Dewsbury and Huddersfield who deserve better than this. Style is never a replacement for substance and fewer teachers with bigger classes and increased workloads is a poor return for new buildings.

'Staff have been patient with the college in recent years and suffered pay freezes and job losses, but enough is enough. Staff are understandably angry at the situation the college has got itself in and we do not believe compulsory redundancies are the way to resolve the problem. Strike action is always a last resort, but pursuing the jobs axe route, along with pay cuts, will do nothing for the reputation of Kirklees College.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015