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Staff vote to strike at Newcastle College

29 March 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Members of UCU at Newcastle College have today (Tuesday) voted to strike in their fight to save jobs.

Over four-fifths of members (82%) who voted, supported strike action and over nine in ten (91%) agreed to action short of a strike. The college has presented the union with plans for over 170 redundancies of which over three-quarters are teaching posts.

The union has accused the college of 'jumping the gun' and using the current funding difficulties in further education as an excuse to make cuts. UCU said the plans would have a devastating effect on the local economy, which has already seen a large increase in unemployment, and make it harder for the region to recover from the recession.

The result of today's ballot is further embarrassment for the college after it was revealed earlier this month that the principal, Jackie Fisher, enjoyed a whopping 32% annual pay rise for 2009/2010. More on that story can be found here.

UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'Today's result shows the strength of feeling against the job cuts here at Newcastle College. Management has decided to make redundant the very people whose job it is to retrain the unemployed and help rebuild the economy.

'We are not blind to the troubles facing the further education sector. However, we believe the college has jumped the gun and staff have every right to be sceptical about the need for widespread job cuts when they learn of the whopping pay rises earned by those at the top.'