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Grimsby Institute strike action 'looks inevitable' as college boss walks out of crisis talks

19 June 2013

Strike action at Grimsby Institute looks inevitable likely after a college representative stunned union officials by walking out of talks aimed at averting strike action. UCU said it expected to announce a strike date in the very near future.

Last week UCU members at the college overwhelmingly backed industrial action in the dispute over job losses and cuts to staff pay and conditions. Yesterday's talks were aimed at finding a solution to the current impasse. However, the college opened the meeting by announcing a further 18 jobs would go at its Scarborough campus before the extraordinary walk out.

The college's new head of human resources stormed out of the meeting when a union official challenged figures the college had misused to try and play down any likely impact of strike action. The union said a strike now looked inevitable with the college refusing to talk.

In the strike ballot, 96% of UCU members who voted backed strike action. The union said staff are already furious that the college is trying to axe their jobs and slash pay, and its latest actions have done nothing to calm the situation.

UCU said the college is using national funding cuts as an excuse to try and axe one in five teaching staff, despite spending less on staff than the national average. As well as the job losses the union says the college is seeking to rip up workload agreements, slash staff pay and ride roughshod over employment rights.

The union confirmed that its members at the Scarborough campus will be meeting next week to consider their next steps following the announcement of more jobs facing the axe there.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'Strike action is always a last resort, but when the college refuses to talk to us we are left with little alternative. We simply couldn't believe it when she walked out of the meeting. I think a strike is now inevitable and I expect we will be announcing the date in the very near future.

'We were supposed to be seeking ways to try and avert strike action, but, by announcing more job cuts and then storming out of the meeting, the college has probably achieved the complete opposite.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015