Staff to be balloted for industrial action at Belfast Metropolitan College

3 February 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

University to face local strike action for the first time in its history over restructure plans

UCU today announced that staff at Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over job losses. The college is looking to make over 200 academic and support staff redundant, as well as cancelling the contracts for over 150 agency workers.
 
The news comes just months after 93 lecturers lost their jobs, and the union has accused management of making the cuts in order to spend money on new buildings. UCU warned that the proposals, if implemented, would damage provision for students across the institution and said the college had its priorities completely wrong.
 
Under the plans jobs will be axed from  management grades as well as senior lecturer and lecturer posts across all subject areas. The local UCU branch is astonished at management's unwillingness to discuss an alternate plan.
 
UCU regional official, Jim McKeown, said: 'BMC has got its priorities completely wrong. How can it justify getting rid of valuable people so it can spend money on new buildings? A well-staffed college is surely more important. While we recognise that students need to be taught in modern classrooms this shouldn't be at the expense of vital jobs."
 
'These plans risk doing lasting damage to BMC's academic reputation. Over ninety staff have already gone and now we face the prospect of losing more through compulsory redundancies. This is the last thing students and the local community needs and we are deeply concerned at management's unwillingness to discuss an alternate plan.'

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