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Taking action in higher education

Birmingham colleges warned of strike action over cuts

4 May 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Four of Birmingham's largest further education colleges were today warned that they could face strike action if they use government funding cuts as an excuse to get rid of staff and slash courses.

Members of the UCU at Birmingham Metropolitan College, Bournville College, City College Birmingham and South Birmingham College said they would 'explore all necessary measures' to defend jobs and defend education in the city.
 
The warning comes as UCU branches in London prepare for tomorrow's day of protest against job cuts and course closures. Eleven colleges in the capital are taking strike action tomorrow and there is unrest at colleges across the country with further industrial action predicted in the run up to the exam season.
 
Birmingham Metropolitan College has already announced plans to make up to 100 job cuts and City College Birmingham has said that it is looking to make savings of £1.8 million. UCU warned that cuts risked affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in the city and would be a terrible blow for the Midlands.
 
Caroline Grey, a UCU member at City College Birmingham, said: 'Further education colleges here in Birmingham work with some of the most underprivileged communities in the city and provide a vital lifeline for so many people. We aren't just talking about figures on a page here. We are talking about people's livelihoods and people's access to education disappearing.'
 
UCU regional official for the West Midlands, Nick Varney, said: 'Colleges must not use the current funding pressures as an excuse for making swingeing cuts. In these tough economic times we simply cannot afford to have teachers on the dole queue. UCU members are willing to explore all the necessary measures to defend jobs and courses. We owe to it to the students and the local community to oppose cuts.'

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