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Keighley merger partner must be local, say lecturers

15 November 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

UCU, which represents lecturers at Keighley College, is urging the college's governors to ditch any idea of merging the college with another one as far away as Hull or Tyneside.

Keighley College has had financial problems and is looking for a merger partner as part of its restructuring.

UCU has discovered that 5 colleges have expressed an interest in a merger with Keighley College and a 'long list' is being considered which includes Newcastle, Hull, Bradford, Craven and Leeds Park Lane. Short listing starts today (Wednesday 14) and concludes on 21 November.

UCU says a further education college serving the needs of local people must be sustained in Keighley - and this is best guaranteed by a merger with another local college within the metropolitan district of Bradford.

The union also says that Newcastle College's recent history of poor industrial relations could compound difficulties for staff at Keighley College. UCU members at Newcastle College went on strike no fewer than seven times in six months after their management told them to accept longer teaching hours or face the sack.

Martyn Moss UCU regional official for Yorkshire and Humberside said: 'We are not against a merger as the way forward for Keighley College, but have serious doubts about the proposals for long distance mergers - partly because of the huge distances involved. We are also very concerned about importing Newcastle College's very poor recent record on industrial relations. Keighley College needs stability not conflict.

'We question how Keighley College could keep its local identity and community involvement in a merger with a college so far away. It would be much more sensible for Bradford or Shipley College, or both, to be merger partners and we appeal to the governors to make the right decision.'

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