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Taking action in higher education

UCU warns Sandwell College over swingeing job cuts

30 June 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today warned Sandwell College that it could face industrial action if it goes ahead with controversial plans for swingeing job cuts. Staff have been informed that 93 posts will be axed as the college looks to make redundancies for the fifth year in a row.

The union has accused management of using the current funding difficulties in the public sector as an excuse for the making the cuts and said that the timing of the announcement, just before staff and students go away for the summer, couldn't have been any more 'cynical'.
Sandwell College works with some of the most underprivileged communities in the West Midlands and the union said today that it is deeply concerned about the impact job losses will have on key social programmes. Under the proposals Vocational Access Studies, which helps students with learning difficulties, will be closed, leaving many vulnerable learners with nowhere to go.  
UCU regional official for the West Midlands, Nick Varney, said: 'The timing of this announcement couldn't be any more cynical with staff and students about to go away for the summer.
'The planned job losses and closure of Vocational Access Studies, which has a great track record of working with students with learning disabilities throughout Sandwell borough, will be a devastating blow to the local community. It beggars belief that the college is looking to axe this provision. This will leave many vulnerable students with nowhere to go. Parents and local support organisations are going to be appalled when they find out this news.'