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Strike action confirmed at Kirklees College

19 June 2013

Members of UCU at Kirklees College will be on strike tomorrow (Thursday 20 June) in an ongoing row over job losses and pay cuts.

Staff will be on picket lines from 8am outside the entrance to the main college building on New North Road in Huddersfield. There will then be a rally (starting at 10.30am) outside the controversial new Waterfront Building on the college campus. Speakers will include the union's national president-elect John McCormack.

The Waterfront Building is one of two new buildings due to open in September. The college plunged its reserves into the projects and now says the first £2m of earnings in future years will have to be spent on capital and interest repayments on mortgages and loans.

Almost 60 staff face pay cuts of between £2,000 and £12,000 a year or detrimental changes to their terms and conditions and six staff are still at risk of losing their jobs. The union is calling on the college to remove the threat of compulsory redundancies and stop the downgrading of staff onto inferior contracts.

In the ballot of UCU members at the college, four-fifths (79%) of those who voted, voted for strike action and 92% backed action short of a strike, which could include a refusal to do unpaid overtime.

UCU said that prioritising buildings over staff, students and the quality of education was poor reward for staff who, just months ago, helped the college attain an outstanding OFSTED Grade 1 report.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'UCU members will be on strike tomorrow to defend their pay and the education of their students. Strike action is always a last resort, but there is a genuine anger about the way the college has mismanaged recent events.'

UCU president-elect, John McCormack, said: 'UCU members at Kirklees College have the full support of the national union in their action. Axing staff and slashing pay is no reward for hard-working staff who delivered an outstanding OFSTED report. The college needs to recognise that investment in staff and students' education is far more important than new buildings.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015