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Staff strike at Newcastle College

11 April 2011

Members of UCU at Newcastle College will be on strike tomorrow as part of their ongoing fight to save jobs.

Staff will be on picket lines from 7am outside the main entrance to the college's Rye Hill campus on Scotswood Road, where they will be joined by UCU president Alan Whitaker.
Over four-fifths of UCU members (82%) who voted in last month's strike ballot supported strike action against plans to make more than 170 redundancies, three-quarters of which are teaching posts.
The union has accused senior management 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 news is further embarrassment for the college after it was revealed in March that the principal, Jackie Fisher, enjoyed a whopping 32% annual pay rise for 2009/2010. More on that story: Newcastle College principal gets 32% pay rise as 170 of her staff face potential redundancy
UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'UCU members at Newcastle have no faith in the college's plans and will do all it takes to defend their jobs and the education of their students. We are not blind to funding challenges facing further education but take issue with management's disproportionate response.
'The college should be working with us instead of jumping the gun. Swinging the axe so hastily will come back and haunt the institution. It will be much harder to provide training and courses for the local community, which has suffered during the recession.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015