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Taking action in higher education

Northumberland College told to come clean on job loss plans

9 March 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today told Northumberland College to come clean over plans to sack staff. The union was responding to a letter from the college that warned of redundancies, but failed to give any indication of the number of jobs at risk, and warned ominously that 'more radical measures are likely to be required.'

The union said the college had announced its vague redundancy plans without any consultation with its 400 staff. The college is the only general further education college in the county and provides education to students from Berwick to Hexham, including Kirkley Hall Agricultural College in Ponteland.
The union vowed today that it would challenge the decision and warned that it was not ruling out balloting its members over industrial action. UCU said it owed it to the students and the local community to ensure the college could still offer the highest quality of education for students.
Iain Owens, UCU regional official, said: 'The college has shown absolute contempt for its staff, for its students and for the local community. We will be fighting job losses all the way as we have not given up on Northumberland College's students or its reputation yet. The college has to come clean with its plans and not hide behind ambiguous and worrying phrases such as radical measures.'