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Anger over Coventry College 'outrageous' U-turn on pledge to protect jobs during pandemic

28 May 2020 | last updated: 26 June 2020

Coventry College has broken a promise to staff that it would not push ahead with redundancy plans during the pandemic and told 36 staff their jobs are in fact now at risk. The college is seeking to make 30 staff across three departments redundant in a move that trade unions say will reduce support for the college's most vulnerable students.

The college wrote to staff earlier this month to tell them their jobs were now at risk, despite previously assuring all staff at the end of March that the college would not be proceeding with the process given the current circumstances.

The jobs at risk cover three departments, with 11 jobs in the apprenticeship team, 12 IT and examination officers and 13 in learning services, who are responsible for student wellbeing.

Three of the nine student mentors in the learning services team are at risk of losing their jobs. The mentors call the college's most vulnerable students on a daily basis to check their welfare and work with parents, teachers and social workers to keep the students safe during the current crisis.

UCU said staff were working under huge pressure to continue to support students during this crisis and it was wrong for the college break its promise to protect jobs.

UCU regional support official Teresa Corr said: 'Staff have worked throughout this crisis to support students and will be called upon again to support Coventry College reopening after the pandemic. For the college to break its promise to protect jobs is outrageous. Some of the staff the college wants to get rid of are providing support to the most vulnerable students during these unprecedented and difficult times. Pushing ahead with these cuts is not in the best interest of students.'

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