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Taking action in higher education

Barnsley College told it could face industrial action over cuts

25 June 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today warned Barnsley College that it will be balloting members for industrial action. The union is angry after the college announced plans for 53 redundancies and told staff that it will be replacing some lecturers with lower paid associate teachers.

UCU have written to the college principal declaring a dispute over the proposals and called on members throughout the country not to apply for jobs at the college. Management at Barnsley have claimed they need to advertise for new posts externally "to ensure they get strong candidates for every job" but UCU has accused the college of failing to meet it's legal obligations to do all it can to avoid redundancies.

UCU regional official, Russ Escritt, said: 'In all my years as an official I have never seen a college behave in such a cavalier way towards staff jobs. Our members are angry that the college is putting their jobs at risk, and feel doubly insulted that some of the new posts being advertised are almost identical to theirs, whilst others are lecturers jobs on worse pay. The college obviously doesn't think that they are good enough which is not the case.

'The union is asking members throughout the UK not to apply for jobs at the college during the redundancy situation. It is crazy that things have come to this and that staff are being made to suffer in this way. There are a lot of talented teachers at Barnsley and don't see how creating posts with lower pay and worse conditions is going to attract 'strong candidates'. Management is making Barnsley a less attractive place to work and study at.'