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Staff at City of Westminster College vote to go on strike

10 June 2010

UCU members at City of Westminster College will go out on strike next Wednesday and Thursday (16 and 17 June) in their ongoing fight against compulsory redundancies.

Classes will be cancelled and exams will be disrupted after staff voted to walk out in protest against plans to get rid of 7 teaching staff.
The union said that today's result was indicative of the strength of feeling among UCU members across the country over savage funding cuts and damaging job losses. The news comes just a month after 10 further education colleges and two universities in London took strike action over massive funding cuts (see London education strikes and demonstration on 5 May).

City of Westminster works with some of the most underprivileged communities in the capital and UCU said that it is deeply concerned about the impact job losses and compulsory redundancies will have on key social programmes. Under the proposals staff teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) are at risk, with jobs also going from the college's pupil referral unit, which works with students who have been excluded from school, and also from business studies.
UCU has warned that the cuts would have a damaging impact on students and the local community with fewer teachers to deliver the courses on offer. The redundancies will also mean bad news for those who survive the cull as the college also plans to significantly increase the teaching burden of those lecturers left in post.

Phil Flanders, a UCU member who teaches at City of Westminster, said: 'It is a shame that things have come to this. We are sorry that it has proved necessary to take strike action but what the college is planning is totally unacceptable. Slashing jobs in key areas and increasing the burden on those teachers who remain in post is a massive threat to social inclusion, especially at a time of recession. We need to be supporting learners at a time like this.'

UCU regional official for London, Chris Powell said: 'Staff at City of Westminster have the union's full support. These cuts would deprive the local community of a vital lifeline. With the onset of recession, thousands of unemployed people will look to local colleges and adult education centres to improve their skills. However, if cuts to adult education, like these at City of Westminster, go ahead potential students will find their options severely limited.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015