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Taking action in higher education

Fight for jobs in West Midlands intensifies

20 May 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Lecturers and academic staff from across the West Midlands will attend a special public meeting at the Birmingham and Midland Institute* on Tuesday (25 May) - the same day that ballots for industrial action begin at four of largest colleges in the region.

The event, which begins at 7pm, is being organised by members of UCU who are furious at plans by the four colleges, City College Birmingham, Birmingham Metropolitan College, City College Wolverhampton and South Birmingham College, to sack lecturing staff.
Exactly what action to take and when will be high on the agenda for the meeting.  The ballots close on Thursday 10 June with any action likely to take place before the end of the month.
Birmingham Metropolitan College has announced plans to make up to 100 job cuts and City College Wolverhampton has said that it is looking to make savings of £3 million with 160 posts at risk. UCU says that the cuts would hit some of the most vulnerable people in the West Midlands.
UCU regional official for the West Midlands, Nick Varney, said: 'This meeting is an important event for staff working hard in the local area to come and have their say about the direction of likely industrial action. We know that difficult decisions will be need to be made on future funding, but it is not acceptable for colleges to use potential cuts as an excuse to get rid of staff.
'Not only will that approach put hundreds of trained teachers on to the dole, it will also mean the end of educational opportunities for thousands of people in some of the most deprived areas of the region.'

* Directions to the Birmingham and Midland Institute.